The Salem Witchcraft Games

I am currently developing games based on my dissertation research with the support of a Game Design Fellowship from the Duke Games and Culture Lab .The projects attempt to communicate the insights of my dissertation using the rhetoric of interaction.


I am currently focused on the analog iteration where players enact the Salem Trials while acting out different roles including magistrate, Accused, Afflicted, and various towns people based on actual court documents from the 1690s. Multiple game options simulate different explanations of the trials and allow players to understand how the trials happened as the result of conflicting systems of belief. Details upon request.

The current digital form is a hypertext narrative developed in Twine that tells the story of Dorothy Goode, the youngest victim of the trials at only 5 years old. I began this project from my desire to imagine the experience of the children accused in some of the earliest documented cases of court child abuse in what would become the United States. Players experience arrest and incarceration as Dorothy through a combination of trial document transcripts and narrative reenactment based on historical research. The game is used primarily as a research tool, due to the sensitive nature of the content is not planned for wider release.

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