Between passive viewing and active choosing in storytelling
Authors: David Yip
Abstract: Since the dawn of the Internet, abundance of content and information is constantly being created and shared at the speed of light across different media. Media technologies have given us almost unlimited access to choose and interact with vast amount of content and information. We seem to be in active control in choosing what information we want to see and interact with on the internet. Ironically, with all this interactive freedom, most of us still prefer to watch their favorite TV programs or films passively on interactive media platforms. New technologies such as streaming TV have provided many new platforms to present passive content but to what extent how these new technologies have affected the form and shape of content remains a question. Simply by looking at the ratio of programs for traditional passive viewing vs. programs with interactive content, the audience has spoken by choosing to watch conventional content passively. Interacting with content is more than just choosing what pre-made content to watch, for that we always have our remote control. Interacting with content is about having our own say or control about the outcome or direction of a story [1, 2]. Unlike what many media theories have predicted many years ago, interactive narrative has not become mainstream and would never replace conventional form of storytelling. Nevertheless, as more content is being delivered on mobile or personal computer in addition to the big screen, more interactive content will be made available in the foreseeable future. Many popular 4As video games have already mixed conventional storytelling elements with some interactive gaming functions in recent years . This paper focuses on the concepts of choice and decision-making in storytelling and how interactive functions could be blended in with the narrative. Decision-making has always been an important part of storytelling, in which it’s the storyteller who make decisions for the characters and for the audience. A good story may still be best uninterrupted and told by the storytellers who know about the crafts of storytelling [4, 5]. Typical audience still enjoy watching adventure chosen for them rather than to choose their own adventure. This paper discusses the role of interactivity and the concept of choice-making in interactive storytelling.
Keywords: Visual Communication Design, Art of Storytelling, Creative Arts, Cinematic Arts
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