4Scribes, a game developed under the C2Learn framework, is a collaborative storytelling game played either digitally, on Android tablets, or as an analog game using special cards. Both the digital and the analog version of 4Scribes is played with four players, using cards which contain an evocative illustration (serving as a diagrammatic stimulus) and a caption of a few words.
4Scribes can be played fully collaboratively where players all decide on the story’s ending, or competitively where players try to steer the story towards a specific ending described in a special “myth” card. Players take turns playing cards (describing characters, emotions, events or items) from their hand and connecting it to the story being told thus far. Players do not gain new cards during play: their initial draw determines the entirety of their story contribution, which allows them to plan ahead accordingly. Once each player has placed 5 cards onto the story (thus leaving their hand empty save for the “myth” card), they choose to conclude the story using their “myth” card as inspiration (in the case of collaborative storytelling) or by revealing the ending they had preplanned with their “myth” card (in the case of competitive storytelling). All players then vote on which ending was the most appropriate (thematically and dramatically), and the winner resolves the story by applying their ending to it.
Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta