Electronic Literature Lab to modernize Strange Rain app

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Electronic Literature Lab at Washington State University Vancouver is working with Erik Loyer to reconstitute his award-winning mobile narrative Strange Rain for contemporary mobile devices. Loyer is an international media artist and founder of Opertoon, a service combining elements of games, comics and music into stories you can play like instruments, or sing like songs in a musical.

Strange Rain became a best seller for iPads and iPhones and was one of the first mobile stories featured on CNN.com and USA Today. The app was published in the Apple App Store in 2011 and downloaded more than 500,000 times. Upgrades to hardware and software over the years created challenges for native apps like Strange Rain. The project will create a new JavaScript version of the app, ensuring Strange Rain remains accessible to the public for years to come. This project is the third major reconstitution the Electronic Literature Lab has undertaken. In 2019, the Electronic Literature Lab redesigned digital artist Deena Larsen’s 17 interactive poems titled “Kanji-Kus, moving them out of the original software formats from the late 1990s and into JavaScript. In 2020, the lab reconstituted Annie Grosshans’ interactive essay “The World Is Not Done Yet,” recoding it from the now outmoded Adobe Muse platform into HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.

About the Electronic Literature Lab

The Electronic Literature Lab was founded in 2012 by Dene Grigar, director and professor in the Creative Media and Digital Culture Program at WSU Vancouver. As one of a handful of media archaeology labs in the United States, it is used for advanced inquiry into the curation, documentation, preservation and production of born-digital literary works and other media.

About WSU Vancouver

As one of six campuses of the WSU system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. Both in person and online, the university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations.


Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communication, 360-546-9601, brenda_alling@wsu.edu

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