I think Twine is still pretty new and its user demographic is still pretty limited. If its authors are mostly young, English-speaking Internet users with a taste for a nonconformist art style, does it surprise anyone that many of them are liberal, queer, minority race, etc.? Consider the medium.
I also think plenty of Twine games take quite a few cues from the “Lovecraftian” genre whether they know it or not; I’m still exploring the Twine community, but that famous Porpentine style seems pretty Lovecraftian to yours truly.
An article I read on Howard P. last year (source escapes me, sorry) observed that his racist worldview and possible bipolar/paranoia/depression/etc. gave his fiction a lot of its urgency and tension. Lovecraft’s prose was pretty lousy, but the universe he lived in – terrifying, full of monsters, aliens, and uncaring gods – was positively arresting. And it’s his ideas and settings, not the prose style, that persisted and spawned the Lovecraftian genre.
[rant]Imagine how exciting the world looks to a galloping racist. It’s you vs. Them. There’s no need to compromise or coexist, or to study Their ways, and indeed it won’t do you any good to try, since They are inscrutable and inhuman; your only safety is to flee or fight Them. If your moral status leaves something to be desired*, it’s golden compared to that of your enemies. Very thrilling, yes? The stuff good stories and good games are made of. Likewise if you’re paranoid. To write a good horror yarn, you have to invoke fear, and nobody knows more about fear than someone with a deep phobia.
It was even more so in Lovecraft’s own time. People in his country saw a world full of dangerous foreign powers, and one way they tried to cope was by enacting rigid moral codes and condemning everyone “other.” [size=85]Kind of like they did again during the 1950s, and again in the 2010s… why yes, I am a historian, and I do get tired of repeating this shit.[/size]
- Just about every thinking person will admit his moral status could use improvement. This is especially true for Christians (thinking or otherwise), very especially American Protestants, who often teach that everyone is deeply and inherently flawed by a destiny they cannot control. (Hello, baleful stars and devouring demons.) And nobody thought that more than the Puritans who founded New England. Notice where Lovecraft lived?[/rant]
what’s interesting is that the genre survived its time and continues to thrive now, not by appealing to racism and Puritanism, but by appealing to the fringe Lovecraft himself once feared. Nowadays many Lovecraftian horror fans are “odd” people who see the world a little differently. They have an interest (dare I say affinity?) for the monsters, because they are weird themselves. They may also be slightly depressive, and frequently atheist, which possibly attracts them to a genre featuring apathetic gods and doomed worlds. Maybe I’m getting the chicken and egg mixed up here, but that’s my hypothesis.