Interactive narrative: The Great Palermo, by We Are Müesli

The Great Palermo is a free interactive ballad about street food, folklore and culture of the city of Palermo, Sicily. With a kaleidoscopic, iterative approach to the game experience, it nicely demonstrates how folk stories and traditional narratives may be transposed digitally, without losing the “feel” and structure of oral storytelling.

The Great Palermo is available for PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS. Continue reading

PhD Thesis: Role Playing Materials

How do we interact with physical objects during LARPs and mixed/tabletop role-playing games? Costumes, computers, pen and paper are not neutral and passive elements, but change and are changed during RPG sessions. They work together with narrative and ludic elements: if we think about things as social elements, how do they make role-playing games work?

Rafael Bienia, PhD at Maastricht University, draws upon the fields of game studies, and science, technology and society studies to conduct ethnographic fieldwork among role-playing communities in Germany. Continue reading

Christy Dena interviews Eric Zimmerman

Christy Dena and Eric Zimmerman are awesome game designers, educators and writers. And it’s really great reading Christy interviewing Eric about his design approach, and his relationship with the humanities: “I think my background as an artist has helped me always see games as a form as culture”. Continue reading

Design fiction: IKEA Catalog from the future

Design fiction, writes Josh Tanenbaum, uses fictional depictions of future technology to tell a story about the world in which that technology is situated: it uses narrative structures to explore and communicate the possible futures for technology. Julian Bleecker of Near Future Labs is one of the first and foremost proponents of these techniques, and he has recently collaborated with Mobile Life Stockholm to create a fictional “IKEA Catalog from the future”. He writes “In the end, our Design Fiction Ikea catalog is a way to talk about a near future. It is not a specification, nor is it an aspiration or prediction. The work the catalog does – like all Design Fictions – is to encourage conversations about the kinds of near futures we’d prefer, even if that requires us to represent near futures we fear”.

Read Bleecker’s writeup and download the Design Fiction IKEA Catalog at

Josh Tanenbaum’s article on Design Fiction and HCI is available at (behind a paywall)