The New Digital Storytelling, by Bryan Alexander

Alexander, Bryan. The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives With New Media. Praeger, 2011. In The New Digital Storytelling, Alexander addresses academic, practitioner and public audiences, arguing that digital platforms are effective mediums for storytelling and can be used successfully for research, learning and reaching large audiences. In Part I, Alexander first addresses what he calls, “creators and would-be-practitioners,” giving insight into the different sectors of digital storytelling, such as web and social media storytelling and gaming. As well, in Part I of his book, Alexander begins by defining what constitutes  “storytelling” using digital mediums, giving a survey of the series of new platforms in which these … Continue reading The New Digital Storytelling, by Bryan Alexander

Malandia – An Exploration of Permanence, Consequence and Player Agency in Interactive Narrative Games

Malandia is a text-based interactive narrative that aims to explore ideas related to contemporary game theory. Before you read on, please play the game and then return to read more. (Disclaimer: This game requires an active internet connection. This game is best played with sound turned on.)   Malandia was conceived as a hands on exploration of contemporary issues related to game theory. In How to Do Things with Videogames, Ian Bogost writes “we can understand the relevance of a medium by looking at the variety of things it does” (3). In this case, he is making reference to exploring specific productions of a medium before passing judgement … Continue reading Malandia – An Exploration of Permanence, Consequence and Player Agency in Interactive Narrative Games

Having it the Player’s Way: (Sub)Way and the Illusion of Narrative Choice NOTE: (Sub)Way can be found at these links if the above embed is not working/down: In making (Sub)Way I learned a fairly important lesson about the way I perceive game design and the narrative possibility space of interactive fiction. Namely, that the smoke-and-mirrors effect of choice-based narrative design is not only necessary to making a game narrative function effectively in terms of interpreting player involvement, but that it is an inherent positive trait of interactive narratives. Games and narratives have a complicated relationship, particularly when it comes to authorial control over the narrative and the decisions made within it. The issue being there … Continue reading Having it the Player’s Way: (Sub)Way and the Illusion of Narrative Choice

ZZT, by Anna Anthropy

Anna Anthropy’s ZZT, part of the Boss Fight Books series, is something of a partner piece to her previous text, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters. It acts as a specific example of the game subcultures she outlines so thoroughly in the former. In fact, ZZT is a sort of case study. A hard example of how the possibilities within a game space can turn it into a tool of expression for players, be it personal, political or educational. She expresses her beliefs (and those of others, through interviews with both players and designers) that ZZT, an MS-DOS adventure game/level editor released in 1992 and developed by … Continue reading ZZT, by Anna Anthropy

Zine Culture and the Embodied Community of Rookie Mag

This research project analyzes the ways in which the online magazine Rookie utilizes material-based elements of zine culture in order to create an embodied community. The term “embodied community” is taken from Alison Piepmeier’s Girls Zines and it refers to the connections that are formed between zine creators and readers by materiality. A zine, in its existence as a handmade artifact, acts as a sort of mediator of human touch (Piepmeier calls it a “surrogate physical interaction” (59)), sharing human emotions through their physical traces. Such an embodied community opens up space for a participatory culture, to borrow the term from Henry Jenkins, because it encourages … Continue reading Zine Culture and the Embodied Community of Rookie Mag

Playing “Indians”: Indigenous Adventures in the Digital World

  Playing “Indians”: Indigenous Adventures in the Digital World “The truth about stories is that that’s all we are” – Thomas King “Stories are the key to the endless oratory, the teachings, and the knowledge of our people. It’s not all we are, but when we remember the story, the flood of knowledge locked behind it is let loose.” – Lee Maracle Whether one agrees with Thomas King’s proposition that stories habit us constantly, or Lee Maracle’s gentle rebuttal, which reminds us that stories need to be recalled and acknowledged to wield their power, there is little argument against their importance. No matter our culture or affiliations, stories … Continue reading Playing “Indians”: Indigenous Adventures in the Digital World

Principles of Multimedia Theory

The Multimedia Learning website is meant as a visual exploration of current design principles within the field of e-learning, and serves as a helpful guide in designing the most effective multimedia learning experiences possible. Images are presented in a DO/DON’T diptych similar to that employed by VICE, and are meant to contrast good multimedia learning design practices with bad ones. Principles are largely adapted from The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning, edited by Richard E. Mayer. Continue reading Principles of Multimedia Theory

Storytelling for Scholars, Activists and the Public

RE:Imagining Change is about using stories to “win campaigns, build movements, and change the world.” Written by Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning, who are both co-founders of the Center for Story-Based Strategy in the U.S., they offer research, strategies, tactics, tools and real-world examples of successful social change campaigns. The mix of scholarly research, practical tips and fascinating case studies make this text useful and engaging for scholars, activists, and the general public.  On this page are three infographics, each one focused on those three target audiences. Each infographic offers the information and resources that will interest each audience the most. If you want to learn more, … Continue reading Storytelling for Scholars, Activists and the Public

Poetry in Play (PIP)

Poetry in Play (PIP)  Whether you are teaching or learning in or outside of the classroom, PIP is a resource for understanding poetry, literary terms, and the devices at play. Poetry is often the subject students approach with the most apprehension. We hope situating poetry in a more playful and interactive context will lessen students’ anxiety and build their confidence in their own analytical and close reading skills. Our mission is to provide students with the tools to find their own unique perspectives on poetry and to help them feel confident and excited about studying–the often dreaded unit–poetry. We hope our initiative inspires others to contribute … Continue reading Poetry in Play (PIP)

Women and Cultural Reproduction: Self-Representation as Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling encompasses a broad and crucial area of both cultural production and consumption. In Amy Shield Dobson’s Postfeminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media, and Self-Representation, young women are the active agents responsible for establishing and creating narratives in the media landscape—they are cultural producers. Using social networking sites as their blank page, these young women digitally reflect and experiment with their identities, participate in the creation and expression of others’, and contribute to the understanding of self-representation within gendered narratives of authorship and self-discovery. Dobson approaches these questions much like a scholar does humanities studies; using social, cultural, political, and historical contexts Dobson theorizes girlhood … Continue reading Women and Cultural Reproduction: Self-Representation as Digital Storytelling