A Thin Black Line

A 12 minute animated documentary VR project for SBS (Gear VR, Go), I was brought in as a Narrative Design consultant by VRTOV. I worked with Douglas Watkin, Oscar Raby, Katy Morrison, and Brooke Mags.

An animated documentary in interactive VR, A Thin Black Line is directed by Douglas Watkin with artwork by Vernon Ah Kee and is produced by the VR production studio VRTOV.

A Thin Black Line invites you to step into a pivotal event in the history of one family, and a nation, as seen by a young child. The bombing of Darwin in 1942 was the first and largest aerial attack on mainland Australia during the Second World War. When the bombs reach Patima’s hometown, she is forced to flee, leaving her father behind.

A Thin Black Line has been commissioned by SBS with support from Screen Queensland as part of their Untold Australia series which offers uniquely personal stories from some of Australia’s diverse communities.

Crafting Intangibles


Crafting Intangibles is an online international and local event exploring interactive narrative design, being held on June 10th-11th, 2017. The event is sponsored by Screen Queensland, and features some of the most accomplished and inspiring creatives who will help clarify and stretch our understanding of narrative design.

Speakers include Brie Code (Child of Light, Assassin’s Creed, Company of Heroes), Peter Dunne (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Melrose Place, JAG), Brian Upton (Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon), Chris Avellone (Planescape: Torment, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Fallout (2 and New Vegas), and many others. The videos will feature new perspectives and an activity prompt. Everyone can join in online for the event, and a special local event will be held in Brisbane, Australia. Tickets at http://www.CraftingIntangibles.co


Spider & Fly

A blind spider and a young housefly team up to compete in a web art competition being held in the bucket at the back fence.

An animated short film and digital local co-op game in development, in partnership with a sydney animation house.

‘Online Augmentation to Emerging Participatory Culture Practices: Player-Created Tiers in Alternate Reality Games’ for Convergence

An essay and accompanying minisite about different layers of player interaction in ARGs. The minisite is an online augmentation of an essay published in the Feb 2008 issue (vol 14, no 1) of Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies (which is available in hardcopy and online). My essay, ‘Emerging Participatory Culture Practices: Player-Created Tiers in Alternate Reality Games’ is in the special issue edited by Henry Jenkins and Mark Deuze on ‘Convergence Cultures’.

This paper introduces an emerging form of participatory culture, one that is not a modification or elaboration of a primary producer’s content. Instead, this paper details how the artifacts created to ‘play’ a primary producer’s content has become the primary work for massive global audiences. This phenomenon is observed in the genre of alternate reality games (ARGs) and is illustrated through a theory of ‘tiering’. Tiers provide separate content to different audiences. ARG designers tier their projects, targeting different players with different content. ARG player-production then creates another tier for non-playing audiences. To explicate this point, the features that provoke player-production — producer-tiering, ARG aesthetics and transmedia fragmentation — are interrogated, alongside the character of the subsequent player-production. Finally, I explore the aspects of the player-created tiers that attract massive audiences, and then posit what these observations may indicate about contemporary artforms and society in general.

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‘The Writer’s Guide to Making a Digital Living’ for Australian Council for the Arts

The Writer’s Guide to Making a Digital Living is an ebook and online resource on the craft and business of writing in the digital era. It was commissioned in 2008 as part of the Story of the Future program at the Australia Council for the Arts. The project includes case studies from Australia’s rising generation of poets, novelists, screenwriters, games writers and producers who are embracing new media and contains audio and video content from seminars and workshops, as well as extensive references to resources in Australia and beyond. The project is used as a resource in digital writing programs around the world.

I was Co-Writer of the Guide, and conceived the “New Writing Universe” Interactive (providing all the content). The guide was co-written by Therese Fingleton and Jennifer Wilson.

Main website: TheWritersGuide [currently offline]
PDF of the main guide [PDF]


The Writer's Guide to Making a Digital Living: Choosing Your Own Adventure by Christy Dena