Interactive Story

An Introduction to the Blog
Interactive storytelling has managed to make progress in the digital arena, but it hasn’t yet reached the prominence that games have achieved. Its commercial foothold is more often in the service of a game, rather than as an independent. Fortunately, the situation is improving. Several games have successfully integrated story into the gameplay instead of relegating it to click-through cinematics. And a few pioneers, borrowing principles of game design and using current game technologies, have ventured forth with new titles that are arguably more interactive story than game. This handful of trailblazers seems to understand the promising qualities that have somehow been difficult to pinpoint up till now.

The articles and anecdotes you see here attempt to describe what I think those qualities are, as well as others that should be. My interest is in visual storytelling, so my main focus is interactive story’s relation to film, theater and animation, as well as those games with a similar bent. I talk about ethical dilemmas and moral challenges that drive dramatic situations, particularly those in more traditional forms of storytelling, as I believe these play a significant role in giving interactive story its distinguishing domain. You’ll find brief dips into philosophy and psychology when there’s something relevant to point out, and if I can manage to explain it without possessing any expertise whatsoever. In light of these areas of interest I discuss how the story world might work and what the user’s role might look like.

Recent Articles

Navigating the Path of “Way To Go”

“Way To Go” by AATOAA Studio for the NFB journeys hazily through the new media landscape as an interactive film, a game, an interactive animation and a virtual reality experience. Read More >

Interactive Story’s Fighting Words

‘Interactive story’ is a nuisance as a term, and it is the individual words that oppose working together. What will it take to find the common ground that turns this term into a useful member of interactive society? Read More >

Introduction to the User As Hero

A common perception of the Hero is an individual with the courage, integrity and guts to persevere despite the obstacles. But there are far more flavors of the character type than this one, and not all of them with such a pure heart or optimistic destiny ahead of them. Read More >

Introduction to the Moral Sphere

At its heart, a story about consequences is a story about a moral truth. Morals are the apparatus of human character, fueling the behavior that gives rise to drama. Stories are the judgement of that behavior in action. Read More >

Introduction to the Main World

I’m not certain who coined the phrase ‘storyworld’ in the context of interactive storytelling, but I know Chris Crawford’s use of it sunk in for me. It stripped story of the prerequisite for a storyline and offered instead a world of possibilities whose common aim was to build one. Read More >