Tinkering With Pedagogy: Experimenting With Technology at the DWRL

At the start of last academic year, the Digital Writing and Research Lab assigned two research imperatives: data visualization and wearable technology. While data visualization is ubiquitous in most forms of media, and serves an already established and crucial role in empirical research and its dissemination, the affective affordances of wearable technology are emergent, and … Read more


The word 'play' in colorful text

Throughout the long history of the lab, play has been one of our central recurring areas of interest. In the lab’s current manifestation our focus has turned specifically toward digital games. Digital games are always laden with values: they make assumptions about players’ bodies and beliefs as well as race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability. … Read more

Questing for Choice(s)

aisle intro screen

There is a fundamental issue with how we (as academics, players, and creators) view game narratives. This particular art form leaves room for player intervention, for changes and transformations, however, such interactivity has done little to push the boundaries of storytelling beyond alternate endings and perpetual quests. Is this as far as stories can go? … Read more

Cool Tools: The Rhetorical Methods Twine Game

An image of the first page of the Twine game. The image features the Digital Writing and Research Lab's logo and The University Seal.

Following the success of last year’s Twine research group, we in the DWRL wanted to take a step toward making Twine an integral part of the classroom. So during the break I set myself a goal: I wanted to write a completely new kind of Twine game. The resulting text, a Rhetorical Methods game, helps students to take a page and a half of notes regarding the issue, event, or other controversy that they choose to write about in the Rhetoric and Writing Department‘s first-year writing courses. But we don’t want to keep it all to ourselves! Try the game, give it to your students, let them use it themselves! There are 3 simple parts to the game: one that asks students questions about their issue, one that allows them to analyze the reasoning that makes the issue so enigmatic, and a section for students to collect their thoughts regarding the evidence that makes the issues persuasive. Check out the new rhetorical methods game. I bet you’ll find it useful!

Read moreCool Tools: The Rhetorical Methods Twine Game

Twine: The Meta Game

Team Twine was busy in the spring. Kendall, Lily, and I have been hard at work making some wonderful stuff for the DWRL. To help us along, we’ve read books and articles, held meetings and brainstorming sessions, developed our own materials and shared them with each other, facilitated Game Jams for others, and even made … Read more

The Twine Apocalypse

A red sky over a valley.

If you’re wondering what Twine is, check out my post Twine Games 101. Or, continue on…

The 2015 anthology Videogames for Humans solved a problem unique to anthologizing digital games: if every playthrough of a game might be different, how can a collection represent those possible differences? The answer was, as the text’s subtitle says, to put “Twine authors in conversation.” Each game is presented as a singular playthrough by someone other than the game’s maker. The player makes and records their decisions, offering annotations and reflections to readers along the way.

Read moreThe Twine Apocalypse