Andy Campbell2023 Longlist, 2023 Opening Up Prize Shortlist, Opening Up

Crowbar is a mixed media digital project published daily on Threads. It follows a character posting about the (entirely fictional) late nineties survival horror games Crowbar,and what hidden message lie within. As the posts expand, it is clear the game has a deep psychological impact on those who played it. The story mixes concepts of technology and Ancient Egyptian mythology, and explores ideas around nostalgia and the retro gaming scene.

Hosting the story on Threads allows the audience to directly interact with the account. Several posts invite readers to not only ask questions about the game, but to share their own ‘memories’ of Crowbar. I also answer any general comments users make about the game. This allows for the audience to build part of the storyworld alongside the main narrative.

I use the extra word count provided by Threads, and the way posts are linked together, to tell snapshots of the story in what looks like discussion of the levels, graphics and sound design of this fictional game. Although Crowbar may not be real, the posts give the impression that it is.

Although all the writing is original, Crowbar uses screenshots created in Midjourney to add authenticity to the illusion. These are generated to exactly replicate a late nineties console game. This adds a new layer in terms of how you can simulate a reality different to our own, and allow for the generation of additional atmosphere building material for a daily project.

Crowbar is ongoing, and will continue until at least the end of 2024, depending on what twists the audience brings. You can find it in full at the link provided.