Narrascope logo This month holds two free online events I’m involved with: a full-sized, week-long conference about narrative games, and a short and humble meetup about the independent web.

The second annual Narrascope conference happens from May 28 through June 4, entirely online this year. A project of IFTF, the digital arts nonprofit that I help run, Narrascope returns from its 2019 debut in Boston with a full slate of presentations, panels, and workshops on the topic of interactive narrative, adventure games, and interactive fiction. Because of the pandemic, Narrascope 2020 has moved to an online format, entirely free and open to the public.

You can get a taste of Narrascope right now by browsing videos of 2019’s talks. (Only ten in that collection, because we didn’t have formal recording plans for our first year — so conference sponsor Articy stepped up in the moment to film every talk in one of the MIT lecture halls we used.)

Narrascope 2020 will stream all its talks to the public internet. If you do plan to attend and can afford to give a little, please consider making a tax-deductible donation towards the conference to help defray its operating costs. As I write this, Narrascope has reached about half of its $6,000 fundraising goal, with two weeks to go. The conference also continues to seek corporate sponsorship; if you want to learn more about that, please contact the Narrascope team directly.

And on Wednesday, May 20 at 6 PM Eastern, I will co-host another IndieWeb Meetup NYC. At this monthly event, we gather to discuss the tools, techniques, challenges, and joys of publishing your work online, on your own domain, in the spirit of the IndieWeb movement. I joined fellow New Yorker Marty McGuire to revive this group at a local coffee shop in February — just in time for things to get weird. But we resolved to keep the candle lit through this liminal period, and immediately transitioned to online meetings for the time being. This will be our third such.

IndieWeb in-person meetups would happen in cities around the world in the Before Times, and many of them continue online during the In-Between, effectively offering everyone a choice of time zones on any given week, unbound from participants’ actual geographies. Recent nominally-NYC meetups have seen plenty of friendly intermingling from both night-owl Europeans and early-bird Pacific-coasters.

One happy day, in some unknowable season, we will resume meeting in person, limiting our attendees to locals and happenstance-visitors. But until then, we welcome all writers, artists, technologists, and others to bring their stories and questions about self-publishing and owning their work on the web.

Screenshot of eleven people in a Zoom meeting
Screenshot by Marty McGuire of the March 2020 IndieWeb Meetup NYC. (See Marty’s recap for more details.)

This article was also posted to IndieNews.

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