Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Inklewriter and interactive (simulation) authoring

At the Chronicle of Higher Education today, Anastasia Slater has an article/review of Inklewriter, a free online app for interactive story-writing:

Last week, Inkle Studios released “Future Stories,” a curated collection of stories produced with its interactive story development tool. This slick iPad app features the tech behind Frankenstein, an interactive adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel by Dave Morris. Play through any of these stories for a while and you’ll see everything from straightforward choices of action to complex moral dilemmas and experiments. You can also check out many experiments on the web, including Emily Short’s Holography–she’s also written some thoughts on inklewriter as a platform.

While Inform 7 (as discussed last week) uses a parser interface based on interpreting a broad range of user actions (get lamp, open door, look at book, etc.), Inklewriter uses an interaction model similar to ’80s Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks, which recently came back into print and made the transition to eBooks. However, it goes beyond any of the simple page-shuffling models of those past books in part because it can keep track of decisions and variables from the user’s actions.

The resulting story is web-based, but you can pay a small additional amount ($10) to have the interactive story exported to a Kindle ebook with embedded links.

Having played around a little with it online, the system would have considerable potential for building serious educational and training modules, making it relatively easy to build text-based versions of something like the Inside the Haiti Earthquake with a series of branches choices that allows users to explore first, second, and third order consequences of various strategic or operational choices.

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