In short, it's a website that allows you to write stories by playing games.
With it you can log on and play writing games for free, with friends or on your own, depending on the game you choose. The games are designed to make writing with others more fun and perhaps a little more productive.
When we write, we usually need quiet time to think and reflect. Sometimes we prefer writing alone. Often it's essential.
Other times though it's better, more creative and more motivating to write with others. At these times, Storyjacker's collaborative games can make life easier for writers.
- games are fun - it can be hard to be inspired to write sometimes. Playing a game is a simple and enjoyable way to dodge writer's block.
- they're social - we learn everything we know from other people. Writing with others can give us fresh ideas and motivation.
- and they have rules - sometimes the hardest part about a blank page is working out what should go there (a short story about a failed robbery? a poem about autumn rain?) And after that there are other things to work out, like is it a prose or verse poem? Flash fiction or novella? Game rules skip initial decisions and get you writing.
Of course they're not a substitute for all other types of writing. They're another way of writing, and also another way of thinking about writing.
Storyjacker's games have been played by over 70 HE students in writing game workshops. Nearly half were writers on creative writing courses. The other players were students from other creative courses. (See the courses and individuals involved). Regardless of whether they were writers or not, groups responded well to the games.
The stories and outputs of Storyjacker have been brilliantly diverse. As well as producing stories, one workshop group produced experimental films based on what they had written.
If you are a lecturer or teacher and would like to run a workshop, please contact me.