To better understand how serious interactive fiction (IF) fits into creative writing pedagogy, we first consider how interface offers both affordances and constraints to the writer. Second, we discuss the ways teaching serious IF foregrounds the benefit of digital tools for creative writing. Third, we examine the interrelationship among research, interface, and procedural rhetoric. Fourth, we present findings from our research study by summarizing and discussing examples from roundtable feedback. We focus on students’ perception of serious IF’s affordances, concluding with how serious IF provides productive constraints for creative writing practice.

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Figure 1: Screenshot of Twine interface Story Layout from the writer/designer’s view

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Figure 2: Early choice in our student's customer service IF

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Figure 3: The limited choices of Depression Quest

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Figure 4: Distance's hourglass structure

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Figure 5: Distance's in-game interface