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Dear Esther
Bar Harbor
I just finished playing Dear Esther. It's available on Steam for $9.99 and well worth it. Highly recommended.

I say 'playing', though it isn't a game in any conventional sense. It's an interactive narrative experience that, for me, lasted about two hours (though I am likely to revisit it again). I knew very little about it going in, mostly just what I've said already, plus the fact that it had generated a *lot* of writing by the sorts of writers I respect. Sensing that here was a rare opportunity to experience a unique thing relatively unspoiled, I actively avoided finding out more about it. It would probably have been OK if I had, but I did enjoy going in blank.

If, like many of my colleagues, you *design* interactive narrative experiences (whether attached to more conventional gameplay or not), this is worthy of careful study. Dear Esther contains a lot of masterful design work, on multiple levels. But again, I think you're better off going in without preconceptions about what they are. If you're the sort of person who studies this stuff, you'll recognize them on your own. *Highest* recommendation for students of the form.

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Hmm. Interactive story-game-thing, you're telling me? *makes note for later*

I'll be interested to hear what you think.

(and welcome back!)

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