Alt-Right: Ctrl+A; Del
Built as a hypertext work of electronic literature, “Alt-Right: Ctrl+A; Del” explores the social media fatigue experienced by a woman operating in online spaces. The work takes place from November 9 2016 to January 20 2017, during the pivotal moments of transition prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration. It is heavily influenced by the ongoing challenges faced by participants in social media discourse who are identifiable (or labeled) as other than white, heterosexual, cisgender men (Marciano, 2014). The fictionalised narrative of the work is presented alongside a day-by-day evolving timeline of tweets drawn from real social media discourse. The reader-player experiences both the mundane and the politically momentous, the true and the “fake” news sensations, while navigating through the daily pressures of life which present their own source of exhaustion and challenges. Ultimately, the reader-player must decide to what extent it is worth engaging with the incendiary discourse, and these decisions shape the reputation of the character’s online persona. The choice to engage in political discourse will inevitably result in eventually catching the attention of a horde of procedurally-generated trolls (Phillips 2015), while refraining from participating will leave the character relatively invisible and disengaged from both the media platform and source of social connection. The reader-player must balance the demands of social media to present an active persona to their followers with the personal needs of a human who must cope with the results of harassment from a faceless flood.
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