Using critical code studies, this dissertation examines the Twine story format Snowman. Despite existing books on the authoring tool Twine, a central part of its functionality, what it names "story formats," is rarely covered. This study steps into this gap and, based on my own experiences through working on story formats and documenting examples using Twine, explores the greater social context of the story format Snowman through examining its source code. This dissertation consists of three chapters, each using a different set of research methods. First, the metaphor of a stack is used to better understand how software like Snowman is based on a past of other, older concepts and functionality. Second, the concept of a network is applied to better understand how software projects often rely on relationships of trust and hidden labor. Third, two other story formats, which are based on Snowman, are compared through first using a distant reading approach to find structures and then a closer reading to review how they are different. This research presents not only a greater emphasis on story formats missing from existing scholarship but also positions the story format Snowman as an important, but often overlooked, part of Twine's history.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Cox, Daniel, ""Do You Want to Build with Snowman?": Positioning Twine Story Formats Through Critical Code Study" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1848.