The New School Archives Digital Collections

Related people/organizations

Brian Bernhard (designer)
Cynthia Lawson (thesis advisor)
Chris Prentice (thesis advisor)
Chris Romero (thesis advisor)
Ethan Silverman (thesis advisor)




Every time someone asks you a question it has the potential to change the direction of your own personal narrative, but two people can only develop a narrative for a short period of time before it eventually dies. Equipping a community of storytellers with the power to design and resolve conflicts on a public stage can not only guarantee a committed audience for their story, but will also produce a one-of-a-kind experience. The creation of a good story does not need to be linear, formulaic or built around a singular plot. The “Viral Sockpuppets” is a virtual “story-world” populated by characters that create new organically developed stories through an “exquisite corpse”-like game. The protagonist asks the community to help resolve a dilemma by responding to the question with a “sub-plot” story suggestion. Players are then divided into categories: the active players who produce “sub-plots” and the passive players who vote on which sub-plot is selected for the narrative. Once an active player wins the public vote two times within the active narrative (it does not need to be consecutive), that player assumes the role of protagonist. At that time, the current dilemma is resolved and a new one is launched featuring the new protagonist. In this way, the “story-world” of the game never ends facilitating “subplots” and narrative chapters to continue the story forever.



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