When I got the call to write this week's Fringe Busters, I went through my RSS feeds to check what I'd recently marked as interesting. It turns out that most of what was pushing my buttons had little in the way of gameplay. Lots of indie dev projects out there run into objections that they're "not a game." Let's set that issue aside for the day, because I'd like to skip over the hazier part of the debate and look at interactive stories. This doesn't have to be a game.
Folks talk about their "life flashing before their eyes" in a near-death experience. In Life Flashes By, Deirdra Kiai offers a somewhat interactive version of that experience, complete with "what if" alternate scenarios. You can choose the order that important events are relived, though alternate scenarios are only unlocked after you've seen the original event.
The main character re-experiences a series of events in which she confronted expectations and pressures (both internal and external) to act or even feel a certain way. But, then, maybe it wasn't all as bad as it could have been.
Talking Points: What, if anything, does the minimal interactivity add to your experience of the story? Do you find it easy to sympathize with the main character? Might you feel differently about the main character if this were a non-interactive animated short? How do you think the deadpan style influenced your experience?
[size=20]Try It Out[/size]