Storytelling and Deliberative Play in the Oregon Citizens' Assembly Online Pilot on COVID-19 Recovery Academic Article uri icon


  • This article draws on the deliberative play framework to examine empirical examples of storytelling in an online deliberative forum: The Oregon Citizen Assembly (ORCA) Pilot on COVID-19 Recovery. ORCA engaged 36 citizens in deliberation about state policy through an online deliberative process spanning seven weeks. Drawing on literature on small stories in deliberation, we trace stories related to a policy proposal about paying parents to educate children at home. Our analysis demonstrates that storytelling activities accomplish aspects of deliberative play through introducing uncertainty, resisting premature closure, and promoting an as if frame that allows groups to explore the scope and implications of proposals. Forum design influences interaction and our analysis suggests that technology use and timing are key design features that can facilitate or inhibit deliberative play.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Black, L. W., Wolfe, A. W., & Han, S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Black, Laura W||Wolfe, Anna W||Han, Soo-Hye

publication date

  • July 2022