Monday, April 14, 2008

Interactive storytelling: We Tell Stories

We Tell Stories is an interesting take on the idea of interactive storytelling using the Internet. From the site:

"Starting on 18th March, Penguin UK is launching its most ambitious digital writing project to date. In collaboration with fĂȘted alternate reality game designers Six to Start, Penguin has challenged some of its top authors to create new forms of story - designed specially for the internet.

Over six weeks writers including Booker-shortlisted Mohsin Hamid, popular teen fiction author Kevin Brooks, prize-winning Naomi Alderman and bestselling thriller authors Nicci French will be pushing the envelope and creating tales that take full advantage of the immediacy, connectivity and interactivity that is now possible. These stories could not have been written 200, 20 or even 2 years ago."

The first story—The 21 Steps, uses Google maps to tell the journey that the protagonist takes throughout the story. The company that helped to make this calls it an ARG—an alternate reality game, which according to Wikipedia, is defined as “an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions.”

The second story, Slice, uses blog posts and Twitter to tell the story, which I guess is a pretty interesting idea; people can get updated with the story almost immediately. The site in general seems to take the most prominent aspects about using the Internet and using it to tell stories. With the first story, it emphasizes how far satellite technology has gotten and how it allows us to look at anywhere on the globe (via Google Maps). Another story plays on the immediacy that the Internet can provide; the authors write the story in real time for readers to read immediately. Another, which uses blog posts to tell the story shows off an entirely different way of telling stories. I suppose the language used will be a lot more colloquial and casual to create Internet personalities where readers can easily get a sense of what the blogger is like. With Twitter, actions in the story would have to be shortened to fit within that 140 character limit. The fourth story, "Your Place and Mine," have two narrators telling about their encounter with the other one simultaneously. Though I think so far, the fifth one, "Hard Times," was the most interesting. It begins with, "More of us live online," and continues on with statements and statistics regarding the current state of how information, ideas, etc. travel and how the current generation is different from the older one.

In general, I think this is a pretty interesting site. It definitely puts a new perspective on how we can tell stories using the resources that the Internet has to offer as well as methods that are currently so popularly used on the Internet.

1 comment:

Lance Strate said...

Thanks for contributing this to our blog, Fiona.