Inyo Dissonance

By Mary Herring. (Twine; play here)

You start as Kumi dies. As she’s brought into a kind of purgatory, two mysterious figures appear; they bring her through a series of decision-making points to decide if she should be allowed to carry on living or not.

The decisions that Kumi is asked to make mainly take the form of moral decisions – along the lines of how you should live your life – though the impact this could have had was lessened by the binary nature of the dilemmas presented. At each decision-making point, only one of the answers led to progress in the story, implying that there was only one morally acceptable answer. Yet, in real life, it is possible to find moral and ethical justifications for multiple approaches to the same dilemma. This quiz-style story structure (where branches are very quickly pruned off with death) prevents Inyo Dissonance from delving into a more nuanced view of moral/ethical decision-making.

The NPCs, the guides and arbitrators of Kumi’s fate in the afterlife, could have been the stars of the show. There was potential, there. They seem to be cast as the good guy and bad guy, reminding me of Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens, but neither seem to be particularly strong characters.

One thing that really bugged me – in terms of the technical aspect of the writing – was the narrator/PC. The PC isn’t Kumi, because Kumi is always referred to in the third person while the PC is addressed directly. So who’s the PC? How are you related to Kumi, and why is her fate and life in your hands? It’s never addressed.

Inyo had some interesting ideas at its core, but it was marred by the cosmetic – the spelling mistakes – and the way the story was delivered.


3 thoughts on “Inyo Dissonance

  1. heartless zombie

    Writing workshop? Now I understand why twines have itsy bitsy text. They want to hide. I skimmed the work and plan to read it later – thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Branch to death is common for horror stories. It is interactive albeit a ?soul good ending doesn’t compare to more flexible games. Playing god in an invisible role is quite common in games. Is it not on IFDB? Are you going to add it?

      1. heartless zombie

        Playing on my mobile, the text is tiny but readable. I’m tempted to do an ifdb twine skin. (Looks ok on desktop.)

        In personal or confessional/autobiographical writing, I sometimes wonder if the writer is ambivalent about sharing. For example in Bloom I wonder if the occasional gradual appearance of text (like one word per second) is like shit testing – if you’re not committed (a fan) to the biography-like writing then it doesn’t want to be read.

        Sorry for slow reply, wordpress notifications aren’t working with my e-mail.

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