I'm the lead designer for We Tell Stories - it's a website created for Penguin, in which six authors are telling six stories in ways that are completely original to the web.
Our first story, The 21 Steps (a homage to The 39 Steps) was told over Google Maps; another was written live and displayed in real-time, in five hour-long installments, by Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. This week's was by Matt Mason ('The Pirate's Dilemma') and Nicholas Felton ('Felton Personal Annual Report'), and they created an infographic snapshot of teen life and the new media world.
We're really pleased with all these stories, but the final sixth story is coming out on Tuesday, and it's the one I'm most impressed by. It's basically an unholy cross between a text adventure, choose your own adventure, and dungeon map. Technically speaking, it's not very sophisticated, but it has an interface that I'm sure hasn't been done before.
It's written by Mohsin Hamid - author of the Booker-shortlisted 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'. I would be the first to say that good novelists or screenwriters don't necessarily make good game writers, but in this case, Mohsin really nailed it and he wrote a story that shows a very deep understanding of interactive storytelling; it's called 'The (Former) General in his Labyrinth'.
Eric Schlosser’s book and film Command and Control look at the terrifying prospects of nuclear friendly fire, where one of America’s nukes detonates on US soil. It also looks at what might happen if a false alarm gets relayed to a trigger-happy general or President. He starts this New Yorker piece with a terrifying story […]
Published by the fine fringe culture explorers at Daily Grail, the new essay anthology Spirits of Place features stories by the likes of Alan Moore, Maria J. Pérez Cuervo, Warren Ellis, Gazelle Amber Valentine, Iain Sinclair, Mark Pesce, and many other mutant thinkers riffing on how we connect with the locations we inhabit. You can […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]