Digital storytelling works in an interactive environment by giving the user agency, rather than the medium acting upon the user solely. In TimeSpace: Inauguration, we saw the Inauguration from different vantage points–it gave us a sense of story across space. The user can see the big picture, and as we lose identity as a society, maybe we lose our social context.

I thought the 9/11 archive was very appropriate for digital storytelling because so many people alive today lived through it. Hence there would be a desire to interact with the material, rather than take it in more passively if it were a subject that many didn’t know about and would be far more likely to relate to in a detached way. And you see it on the site: people uploading their own pictures and telling their own stories.

In Evan’s thesis project interview video, he suggests that game and narrative are different things, but maybe the game derives from the same source.

The section on ARGS were interesting, the issue there is whether one loses touch with their personality, and therefore, learning (among other things). This would be my greatest fear in developing an ARG.

Will ARGs be the way of the history future, I don’t know. One of the issues is to assess whether people lose touch with reality and the uncertainties of life. I don’t agree with McGonagle that games necessarily make people better.

The digital environment changes academic writing and argument by their own story structure (AGRs). It changes the argument by calling into question whether one needs an argument. Still, the web is here to stay. Web 2.0 storytelling said it best: “stories now are open-ended, branching, hyperlinked, cross-media, participatory, exploratory, and unpredictable.”

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3 Responses
  1. sdouglass says:

    I agree that gaming does not necessarily make people better. It can bring out aggression in some people, cause frustration to the point of obsession, and block out reality to the point of physical neglect of self and others. The controlled and controlling aspect of digital games (and others not digital) can become an escape beyond proportion. Some games involve mind-building, stretching, and some involve strategy and even moral and ethical thinking. Others numb the sensibilities. One thing I have heard recently is that games are being used in the military to overcome the traditional fear and resistance to killing among newly recruited soldiers. They are also being used to give soldiers, gunners, etc. distance from their “targets”. These are certainly pernicious elements of gaming. I have seen various projects to use game development for learning–of course it can be useful, but like everything else, needs to be evaluated on an ongoing basis. That’s my scary comment for today.

  2. cjames says:

    It’s interesting that you and Jenny (she posted a few minutes after you, it seems) both used the same quote saying that storytelling can be “…participatory, exploratory, and unpredictable.” It stuck out to both of you because it is a strong yet accurate statement. The last adjective is especially striking (it was a strong way to finish your post). If storytelling is unpredictable, how much control do we have? How much should we have? Maybe not as much as we’ve always thought that we should have.

    This quote is a great description of interactive storytelling, and it reinforces my belief that we don’t even know yet how many forms of non-fiction narrative are possible with digital media.

  3. rfachner says:

    I agree and wrote in my post that we haven’t fully explored the media possibilities offered to us with interactive story telling and that it could be years before this is all fully explored. I also like that you seized on ‘unpredictable’ because that is exactly how I see the medium. Unpredictable can be scary, plunging into the unknown. The unpredictable nature of digital media can make everyone a storytelling star, or not and its really interesting to watch this new medium develop. I think this must be what the reaction was to the printing press five hundred years ago, watching as that developed and changed society. Unpredictable, indeed.