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Calling all Game Writers

In partnership with the University of Otago’s English and Linguistics Department, Dunedin welcomes its first CODE Visiting Chair, Professor Mark Marino from the University of Southern California, who will help launch the Dunedin Festival of Interactive Narrative & Storytelling in early April 2023.

Image: Midjourney bot.

There will be a number of events in the interactive storytelling space that will feed into a larger weekend-long interactive narrative design festival set for 12-14 May 2023.

The festival events will concentrate on up-skilling existing creatives drawn from fiction writers, theatre, Māori creative industries, and creators of interactive media (including games) in narrative design.

“Dunedin, as a UNESCO City of Literature, is perfectly positioned to host a festival

celebrating interactive narrative in all its forms,” explains Tim Ponting, Chief Executive, CODE.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming all creative minds who are keen to see what digital interactivity can bring to their own disciplines, while also celebrating contributions from internationally recognised practitioners in the field of narrative for games.”

Marino is looking forward to his first visit to NZ and contributing to CODE’s mission: “So much of our lives have been game-ified, but we end up feeling like pawns. CODE is turning the tables, widening the circle of gamemakers, inviting in all to create the vehicles for rich and engaging play. Can’t wait to meet, write, and play with everyone!”

The opening address by Professor Marino, “Game Writing for Good by All,” will be held on Saturday 1 April 2023 in Moot Court (10 th Floor of the Richardson Building) from 10am to 11:30am. It will be followed by a Locative Text Adventure based on Signal Hill from 1pm to 4pm. Registration is via Eventbrite.

The opening address will also be available live on Zoom, with the access link

provided through the same Eventbrite registration, links above.

Professor Mark Marino

Mark Marino is an award-winning writer and scholar of digital literature and story-driven games. He is Professor of Writing at the University of Southern California in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. He is Director for the Humanities and Critical Code Studies Lab ( at USC.

Marino serves on the Board of Directors for the international Electronic Literature Organization, which facilitates and promotes writing, publishing, and reading literature in digital media. His creative work and his teaching innovations have been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Los Angeles Times. His scholarly and creative work has reflected themes of social inclusion and emotional well-being, and often involves reimagining contemporary social and political issues through imaginary worlds in digital environments.


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