Interesting article by Carolyn Handler Miller, about the origins of digital storytelling. Excerpt:
On the vast timetable of human achievements, computer-based interactive storytelling is a mere infant, only coming into being in the mid-twentieth century with the development of modern electronic computer technology. These narratives are also characterized by attributes rarely found in other forms of storytelling: they are interactive; they are immersive; they are nonlinear; and they are participatory, meaning that the audience not only takes part in them but can make choices that directly impact the story. Furthermore, the fictional characters in these stories commonly breach the fourth wall – the invisible barrier that separates the story world on one side and the real world on the other. In interactive narratives, it is extremely common for the fictional characters and the audience to communicate with each other and even for audience members to step into the story and play a direct role in it.
Given the fact that these narratives are so new and that they differ in so many important regards from other forms of storytelling, one might wonder if they are an entirely modern invention. Did they enter the world like the Greek goddess Athena, who sprung into the world from the head of her father, Zeus, fully formed, dressed and armed? In other words, are these unique types of works that came into existence only because the development of the electronic computer made them possible? Or do the characteristics that make them so different from other forms of narrative possibly have roots in earlier types of storytelling and other human activities?
“We can rightly judge a society by how it treats its eccentrics and deviant geniuses—and by that measure, we have utterly failed.
Tim Wu (in the New Yorker) on “How the Legal System Failed Aaron Swartz—and Us”. This article is spot-on, and goes beyond the Swartz case: innovation always operates at the fringes of the law. In the digital realm, this is even more so:
In an age when our frontiers are digital, the criminal system threatens something intangible but incredibly valuable. It threatens youthful vigor, difference in outlook, the freedom to break some rules and not be condemned or ruined for the rest of your life. Swartz was a passionate eccentric who could have been one of the great innovators and creators of our future. Now we will never know.
Chilling and thought-provoking article. Where do you stand?
The future of broadcast is social. At the same time, the future of the internet is linked by shared experiences. As such, consumers will bring their mobile phones, tablets, and laptops to the digital living room to watch and share experiences and create a greater conversation and sense of belonging.
Producers will now increasingly create content that includes us in the event and the storyline. Architects of social and hardware platforms will need to rethink how TVs and the internet converge to foster consumption and engagement. And, those brands who subsidize content production, will have to transcend the practice of following attention to captivating it through innovation and experimentation.
The audience is not the audience of old. It’s now an audience with an audience of audiences.