The Pros and Cons of “Pry” Interactive Fiction

“Pry” is a hybrid app created by Tender Claws (Danny Cannizzaro and Samantha Gorman.) “Pry” is an interactive fiction story told through video, audio, and text that has a heart-wrenching story with several hidden secrets. The app is in a game format so the reader must get 4 stars to open the next chapter and continue with the story. The app uncovers the theme of confronting past trauma as James, the main character struggles to move forward with his life after participating in the Gulf War in 1990.

Pros

  • Understand James perspective deeper than just reading the story
    • All ideas and thoughts flow through writing, video, and audio while interacting together
    • Text feature tells the reader what James is thinking
    • Video feature shows what James sees
    • Flashing videos and text show James’ subconscious
  • Stories within stories
    • The biblical story of Jacob and Esau appears in the 3rd chapter
    • Initially, Jacob and Esau story is unrelated to the first 2 chapters, but there is an overlap theme of brotherly conflict and resolution in “Pry” and Jacob and Esau
  • Reading while exploring
    • The reader has to unfold the text to recover James’ memories that he doesn’t want to think about
    • The reader starts somewhere and scrolls down but then has to continuously scroll up but eventually there is an end
    • This feature is a process of discovery for the reader

Cons

  • Confusing
    • Hard to discover what is the purpose of each function (audio, video, text) is for
    • Touch gestures aren’t that clear initially because there are some instructions in the beginning but not after that
    • Not for a reader who wants to do minimal work because the reader has to explore the app to uncover the story
  • Price of app is $2.99
    • You have to buy the app to interact with it but with print medium, there is a high chance that you can find the reading online for free
  • Distracting
    • Hard to make connections of the words flashing very quickly
    • Can’t process the words quickly
  • Offensive
    • Chapter 3 uses brail as a tool to understand the story more
    • Brail is for people who unfortunately have lost their sight and spend a lot of time to read and understand brail
    • Including brail as a feature was offensive because it discredits people who have spent the time to use brail while the reader just swipes their finger over the brail

As the world is becoming more technologically advanced, I believe that story telling with be using digital platforms and interactive fiction instead of print medium. “Pry” is a great example of interactive fiction story with leaves the reader with a picture that life cannot be understood alone by reading a story. There are several features in the app which enhances the story for the reader and further develops their understanding of  James while he uncovers his struggles and pains. In contrast, this app may not be for everyone. To understand the story, the reader must put in effort to interact with app which some readers may not want to do. Overall, I think interactive fiction is a great medium to engage with the story and the features complement and further develop the story for the reader.

Works Cited

http://samanthagorman.net/Pry

 

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What is Twitter Fiction?

Having experience using Twitter in my personal life, I found this platform for storytelling very interesting. The idea of using Twitter creatively to portray a narrative without narrating a story line by line is a different measure and is hard to wrap my brain around. Initially, I asked myself, “what do I use twitter for?” The main points I thought of is too express my feelings, relate to peers, keep others updated on my life, interacting with others (re-tweeting, liking), and a platform for freedom. The platform discourages conversation because of the 140-character limit so it’s crucial be compressed and concise in the tweet.

After thinking about the reasons I use twitter, I thought of how this platform can be used for storytelling. Firstly, the author has to be straight to the point and condensed with the character limit. Every word matters in the tweet and this gives the author the ability to play with the form of 140 characters. For example, in Félix Fénéon’s, “Novel in Three Lines” the tweets are stand alone stories that are interesting and meant to grab the reader. Secondly, the breaks can be used as an advantage by creating bite size stories in the tweets. For instance, Fénéon writes, “Frachet, of Lyons, who was bitten by a pug but had apparently recovered, tried to bite his wife and died rabid.” (Félix Fénéon , 1996) This bite size story includes the climax and conclusion in one tweet. The beauty of using Twitter is the reader understands the point of view of the narrator and there is instant gratification. The experience of posting the tweets is a lot quicker because it doesn’t need to be printed or published. Lastly, Twitter allows readers from around the world connect and interact with the story by liking and re-tweeting them. The feature of inter-connectivity is great to bring people together to discuss the story and brings a social aspect to storytelling.

Overall, I found the Twitter platform an unique medium for storytelling. Familiarity with Twitter helped with understanding the story but I personally feel Twitter should be left as a social media outlet for people to use. I found the gaps in each tweet frustrating as I found myself getting distracted by constantly scrolling while reading. Although I did enjoy interacting with the author and characters in a different platform, I prefer reading a story with more background information about the setting and characters and I felt the Twitter stories were lacking this because of the 140-character limit. In conclusion, I suggest readers to interact and stay open minded while reading Twitter fiction.

Works Cited

Félix Fénéon . (1996). Retrieved from Twitter: https://twitter.com/novelsin3lines