The Great Fire


Welcome to Mayhem, New South Wales. Step into a stinking hot day in the small 1940s post-war town, and hide from the heat in the town cinema, complete with velvet stage curtains, long hallways filled with locked doors and storage rooms cluttered with old film posters. Something is seriously amiss on this particular Sunday morning screening – and it’s up to Frankie, the usher and town babysitter, to find out.

This short online narrative game has been written to immerse and entertain, but also as part of a Macquarie University research project on how an interactive game’s design can affect players’ ethical decision making choices.

Click here to play the game. 


Friday 1 November, 12:30-1:15pm AEDT

How might a serious research project about ethics and online game play, actually become a roller-coaster narrative written in Twine by a novelist who loves fine language? Is it even possible? Play The Great Fire for yourself here, then tune in to the livestream to hear from the team behind the game.

Writer and narrative designer, Jane Messer, discusses how she approached inventing a story that would be plausible and immersive, but which also presented players with the sequence of ethical dilemmas that the research demanded, joined by philosopher Paul Formosa, and game researcher, Malcolm Ryan.

Livestream: Friday 1 November, 12:30-1:15pm AEDT