We're going to delve into whether [Text] A Summer Story is in fact a game, a story, or both.
In my opinion, it is both. It is a story because it has narration in the form of text, it evokes some sort of an emotional response, and has a beginning and an end. This particular one has multiple endings, depending on which choices you make throughout the story. It is also, in fact, a game, because you are interacting with the story and are soon immersed in it.
You are playing the role of a second party narrator with a limited role. You get to interact with the story line and make decisions based on the available choices, but you can not change the story or course in any other way. Like Bryan Alexander says "...we-you-are placed in an uncomfortable second person position, caught between your desire to act and the text's constraints." (Alexander p. 111) At times this could be frustrating because you may feel like you need to do something else or even get away from the scene you are in, but you can't because you are limited by the choices of the game/story.
I played this a couple different times and choose different choices each time and it was interesting that by clicking one different choice the whole outcome of the story changes. When this story starts, you see a train station and there is narration, but you don't see the character(s) so you are not sure who you are supposed to be or what is really going on. It's a little confusing because in a lot of games you get to choose a character or at least you know who you are going to be while playing the game. One scenario was more positive and although, you were still questioning who this person is and who they are texting, you start to become more familiar with them. There was a lot of back and forth texting between 2 of the main characters. However, in another scenario, that starts out the same way and you are still going to the same place, choosing one different thing at the beginning made it so there wasn't any of the back and forth text like in the first scenario. Then I chose one other different thing, in the middle of the story, and it took me to a place outside, but the character on the other end of the phone, is now essentially a ghost, but is able to text the main character. The dialogue was shorter in this scenario and the scene played out completely different.
Some of the literary elements used are characterization, not by explaining the characters, but the character explains her opinions when dealing with her mother and Tekeshi, the character she is texting. You never really find out who it is, you find out its a boy who has her uncle's phone. Although, they do not explain the characters, you find yourself enthralled and wanting to know more and find yourself moving right along with the scene to find out what's going to happen. Setting is also extremely important in this story/game because it brings you into the story with a picture of the scene, so you can see where you are, but nothing else. It shows the messages the main character gets from the other characters and you have to click on them to read it, so you are essentially a part of the setting yourself.
This is both a story and a game because there is narration and and interaction with the scene, albeit limited. You become part of the story and the game as the main character and you get to make a few choices that will determine the outcome. It also, evokes some emotional responses with the interactions and the few noises you hear in the background. This is a good starting point to get your feet wet in gameplay.
[Text]A Summer Story