Metaverse Noir

Metaverse Noir Image

Link to Work: Link.
Age: 18+
Language: English
Platform: Twitter

Mentor: Maureen McHugh

Mentee: Kathryn Yu

Short Description: An interactive story told entirely on Twitter.

Longer Description: In a virtual world where everyone lives online and the bitstream is controlled by organized crime, a private eye is the only one who suspects foul play when the mayor’s lifeless avatar is found in a cyberspace brothel. “Metaverse Noir” is an interactive story published on Twitter that is equal parts science fiction and film noir. Players take on the role of a washed up detective in the Metaverse. They must click through threaded tweets to choose their own path and try to solve a murder mystery. 

Mentoring Context: The piece was created for Professor Maureen McHugh’s Advanced Storytelling for Interactive Media course as part of an “interactive storytelling for social media platforms” assignment. Students were asked to consider the affordances of each particular platform as well as the demographics and how difficult it is to “go viral.” 

Bios: Maureen McHugh has published four novels and two collections of short stories. She’s taught writing at the university level and been a Clarion instructor multiple times. She’s the winner of the James Tiptree Award (now the Otherwise Award), a Hugo for Best Short Story, and was a finalist for The Story Award. She lives in Los Angeles and online.

Kathryn Yu is an award-winning immersive designer & developer based in Los Angeles. She recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. 

Previously, Kathryn worked at the indie studio Tender Claws on Virtual Virtual Reality 2. Her alternate reality game, The Pickfair Directive, was nominated to the 2021 IndieCade Festival. She was also featured in WIRED for her interactive story, “Metaverse Noir.” Her game Heirloom won the “Favourite game by a woman or female team” award at the 2021 Women in Games Global Awards. Kathryn’s thesis game, Penrose Station, is a sci-fi VR mystery about an abandoned deep sea research station.

Kathryn is also a co-founder of the Immersive Experience Institute and was the Executive Editor of No Proscenium. She is part of the Oculus Launch Pad program and The Game Awards Future Class as well as a member of the IndieCade Alumni board.