Defense Date

12-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Arts

Degree Name

Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

First Advisor

Janine Morris, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Melissa Bianchi, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Juliette Kitchens, Ph.D.

Abstract

Spurred by a desire to explore queer rhetoric through interactive forms of media, this project analyzed the game-making program Twine to uncover how independent queer creators use the tool to explore queer survival against time, capitalism, and constrained identities. A more accessible platform than other game-making tools, Twine’s unique interactivity puts the ability to make interactive games and stories into the hands of indie marginalized creators who are often overlooked in both mainstream gaming and queer rhetorics (Anthropy, 2012). Thus, this thesis contributes to queer rhetoric, game studies, and trans rhetorics by exploring the strategies indie Twine creators use in their works. Through a detailed case study that analyzes the procedural rhetoric, interactivity, narratives, and character depictions in Twine games by Anna Anthropy (2015), Brendan Hennessey (2017), and TheNamelessOne (2018), themes emerged that contribute to scholarly discourse on queer futurity, queer economic resistance, identity rhetorics, and gender binaries. The analysis showcases not only the existence of advanced queer discourse and rhetorical arguments within these games, but also highlights the potential for Twine to act as a space to explore what comes after queer futurity. This project ultimately argues for Twine’s place as a valuable site for the study of queer rhetorics and as a powerful tool that academics can use in widening new media discourse and pushing the limits of what is considered scholarly writing producing new media scholarship.

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