"They're here. Oh God! They have found you!" And so it begins. You have two choices: run, or hide.
This is the beginning of a new and thoroughly disturbing adventure game I played earlier today. What makes it stand out from another terrifying horror game like Outlast or Amnesia is that the whole thing takes place on Twitter. You can find the first prompt on the account @wnd_go:
— A dreadful start (@wnd_go) January 11, 2015
Not all paths are created equal, of course. So once you start clicking through to the other accounts that serve as different gameplay choices here, you're liable to meet a gory end. Here's what happened after I first chose to "hide," for instance: https://twitter.com/wnd_hope
All that glisters is not gold. The detonation rips you in half. They feast on your remains.
— There is always hope (@wnd_hope) January 11, 2015
...OK, let's try running then!
— On The Run (@wnd_run) January 11, 2015
Be careful not to slow down too soon:
They show you no mercy. The pain is indescribable.
— Soon (@wnd_soon) January 11, 2015
Man, this is almost as scary as getting into "real" fights on Twitter. Let's try again...
— Why? (@wnd_why) January 11, 2015
Hm, I already tried hiding. But "pain" doesn't sound too promising as an alternative...
You fool! They quickly overpower you. Your end is neither swift nor dignified. Your mangled corpse serves as a warning to others.
— It hurts (@wnd_pain) January 11, 2015
If I kept going I'd spoil the whole thing. But you get the idea. The whole thing starts with this Tweet if you're interested. And I'd highly recommend giving the game a shot, it's the most fun I've had on Twitter in a good long while.
This dark and twisted choose-you-own-adventure was created by Terrence Eden. He explains in a meaty and very interesting blog post that he got the idea after seeing Melinda Seckington a London-based writer and all-around geek evangelist, try her hand at live-tweeting last year on Halloween. And since he'd just read The Wanderer by Timothy Jarvis, he decided to play around with a social media-driven lead-in to that story.
Calling Eden's work a piece of viral marketing content doesn't do it justice, though. Really, this is one of the most creative uses of Twitter I've ever seen. The story meshes perfectly with the non-linear, never-ending chaos that makes the social media service so compelling, and often so overwhelming to use. I'd love to see more game developers embark on similar projects for their work — scary or otherwise.
You can read more about how it was made over at Eden's blog. And try the game out yourself on Twitter.