Media Tool Project #2: Twine X Interactive Game
For my second media tool project, I wanted to create a role-play/choice game on Twine. To be honest, while we were demo-ing Twine in class, I was having trouble getting the codes right when trying to insert photos, hyperlinks or videos. So this time, I wanted to challenge myself with exploring this media tool and introduce myself to the world of coding.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Twine Game from last year’s Multimodal Literacies class, I wanted to create something similar, but relate the theme to this week’s topic on critical literacies. So, I created a character that the user assumes. This character is completing their last teaching practicum before they attain their Bachelor of Education and notices how their Mentor Teacher mentions Trump’s fake tweets, but dismisses opportunities to further discuss about critical media literacy. The character has to then choose whether or not they would neglect critical media literacy as their Mentor Teacher does or become more informed about it. Thus, I used the Twine Game to create an interactive, non-linear narrative summarizing the main themes of the readings and made connections with other issues discussed in our course.
In relation to our course themes, I think that Twine is a perfect example of production pedagogies and constructionism. By putting learners as makers, Twine provides users with the opportunity to shift away from the mode of explication that subjects students under a pedagogical fiction in which they possess no agency and are dependent on a ‘circle of powerlessness’. With strong roots in deCastelle’s ‘production pedagogy’ and Papert’s ‘constructivism’, Twine facilitates meaningful learning opportunities about digital and media literacy and other subjects through purposeful making by engaging with digital technology and multimodal literacies. Through experimentation, exploration, improvisation, ludic epistemology and serious play, Twine users will become more engaged with the curriculum and media tools at large, especially by designing a project that is meant for a critical audience.
In addition of being able to incorporate various media (i.e., images, sound, videos, websites, etc.) into one digital medium, another affordance of Twine is definitely its various options for sharing. As you mentioned in your “Info to Twine” tab on your website, the fact that we have several options to easily share our Twines is amazing itself. We could use Philome.la, Dropbox, Google Drive and even host Twine HTML on Wordpress.
As a beginner to Twine and coding, I chose a pretty basic stylesheet (CSS) with a photo as a header and then text at the bottom. However, I had a very difficult time trying to change the header picture for different passages and was unsuccessful at doing so. After consulting DMG Twin ‘How-To, various Youtube tutorials and the stylesheet website where I got the stylesheet CSS, I felt super defeated and exhausted after altering and copying the exact code into the stylesheet, following the precise instructions in order to possibly change the header for each passage. Despite this failure, I wanted to continue creating this game even though it won’t be as perfect or the exact vision of what I originally planned. I did feel a sense of achievement or accomplishment whenever my attempts to write successful codes to alter the style of the text to bold or italics as well as to link external photos, videos, research articles and websites in my narrative actually worked! After numerous trial-and-error moments at altering the codes, I felt deeply engaged with the media tool and felt that even though I am unable to change my header image for the other passages, that my project is still worth continuing since I plan to share it on my Wordpress.
Here is the link to HTML of my Twine game:
Possible usage for my final project? Well, I am open to using it, but since I'm still a beginner with coding and am not as confident or comfortable with it (especially since I was unable to fix the header images), I may just stick with my original intention of using iBook Author. However, in my future classroom, I will definitely consider introducing Twine as a tool for multimedia and digital storytelling!