Much Love, BJP

We're leafing through newspaper clippings about a journalist named Bany Polzin, describing her life and work in the Middle East and North Africa; the story is actually told using short quotes from the articles, with documentary-styled commentary, rather than verbatim reproductions of the articles in question. There are basically three groups of clippings and articles, followed by two more (one is optional, the other one ends the game) that only appear once the first three are read.

It's basically static fiction presented with chapters that may be taken in any order. Granted, it's well told, but I don't believe that it really qualifies as interactive fiction. There are no hurdles to clear, no branches (real or illusory) to the plot, and no subtle changes of meaning derived from the ordering of the story -- in short, nothing achieved. I suppose one could claim that withholding part of the story until the first three parts are read qualifies as a hurdle to be cleared, but that's an extremely tenuous claim at best.

I'm growing a little annoyed with what seems to be a standard practice among Twine authors, to choose a random word or phrase in a text and use it to link to the next page, whether or not that next page has any relation to the chosen word/phrase link.

I've mentioned that it's a well told story, and I'd like to add a few more words to that. It is a little more challenging, I think, to try and tell a story where the order of chapters do not matter. "Much Love" manages this handily, and I believe that the documentary/epistolary format helps a lot in this regard. I also like the references to outside events, such as the Dawson College shooting: this particular reference made the story seem more grounded in the real world to me.

It's the last breakfast sandwich of the day, ordered 5 seconds before the kitchen changes gear for the lunch crowd. Is it still breakfast?