I knew I wanted my December post to be a retrospective of the year in interactive narrative, but I admit that felt fairly daunting to me. Top 10 lists in IF/games are sometimes personal favorites and sometimes symbolic of the state of the field. And there is a lot of importance in this sort of curation; here’s a few of my favorite curated lists. But this was a really dark year for a lot of people, and the attention economy felt particularly stretched. It was weird to promote work when it felt like the world was falling apart: I delayed the announcement that my game What Isn’t Saved (will be lost) was accepted to Indiecade for a day because some terrible thing happened. I think it was Flynn getting indicted? I honestly can’t recall. (I just went and looked it up: it was the end of DACA.) It also felt difficult as a consumer to consciously set time aside to immerse myself in a narrative: whether that was a novel, a browser narrative, a short story, or a downloaded game from Steam or itch.io.
There was so much out there this year that I enjoyed, or that I didn’t have time for but I know I would have enjoyed. So this list is ten pieces I loved, that made my year worth it, and which I have recommended over and over to people asking about the most striking, satisfying, pleasurable, or meaningful interactive narratives of 2017. It’s not exhaustive or comprehensive; but these are the pieces released this year that I have found myself most often praising and evangelizing for. Continue reading “Top 10 Interactive Experiences of 2017”