The Broken Spine to commence Games as Literature operations on Twitch

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The Broken Spine is committed to championing art and stories from everyone, and that’s what we set out to do with out expansion to Twitch. Not only do we want to reach out to a new generation of art enthusiasts, we also want to celebrate games as literature. Much like poetry, prose, photography, art, cinema, and music, many video games have their own stories to tell, yet are unique as they’ll blend these all together much like cinema does with the added bonus of touch and interactivity – the power to make choices and be responsible for the protagonist’s outcomes can affect us more profoundly and also be an avenue ripe for doing interesting things artistically.

We will commence our weekly video game streaming operations at 19:00 GMT on Friday the 26th of March, beginning with the interactive fiction piece 9:05. This game, written by Adam Cadre in 2000, serves as a gateway to the world of interactive fiction by introducing players to branching narratives and player choices that will serve as a great primer for the rest of the games lined up in the coming weeks and months. After this is finished, as 9:05 is not terribly long, we will then move on to Limbo, which is detailed below.

We will also be taking a look at:

  • Myst, the 1993 classic where players are tasked with solving intricate puzzles on the island world of Myst, noted for its atmosphere similar to that of an art film.
  • Her Story, where you must plum through British police archives to find the truth behind a woman’s statement regarding her missing husband. This game was filmed entirely in full motion video, written by lauded creator Sam Barlow and stars actress and musician Viva Seifert.
  • Sea of Solitude discusses depression and mental illness, and the feelings and actions that manifest as a result.
  • Flower, Sun and Rain is the 2001 effort from legendary auteur Goichi Suda who takes a modernist approach to his games. This particular title focuses on a man who makes a living searching for lost possessions. This game is noted for its esoteric tone and subversive writing towards the medium of video games.
  • Limbo focuses on the fears of a young boy lost in the woods, experimenting with the Christian idea of hell and the afterlife as well as noir visuals to express that point.
  • Cosmology of Kyoto, a non-linear title released in 1993, allows you to explore Kyoto while also discussing themes of morality through the lens of karma and reincarnation.
  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons focuses on the themes of fraternal love and teamwork, and why humanity gets more done together.
  • Celeste, which combines a beautiful pixel-art style and classic arcade-style gameplay with a narrative about trans identity and exploring one’s self.

There are also plans in the works to celebrate the work of trans, BIPOC and Twine creators. We are also more than happy to collaborate with independent and local creators who would like to submit their games for play and streaming, not dissimilar to how we open submissions for poetry. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for games they would like to see featured, these are always welcomed.

I am thrilled to get started for The Broken Spine, and I hope you’ll join us on our new adventure, be it for the game streams or our fantastic digital poetry evenings. Either way, we’ll see you on Twitch.

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