I’ve become a little obsessed with storytelling and technology and how we begin to link the Internet of Things with the devices we carry around in our pockets to tell narratives of our new and emerging lives. The obsession has come from developing a transmedia alternate reality game for school students to learn Chinese called The Dragon Collective Trilogy.
The Dragon Collective Trilogy teaches students the foundations of the Chinese language through an immersive, cross-platform story where they become agents of the Dragon Collective and pursue Agent X as he tries to fuel the doom of not knowing that threatens us all. For students, it is like they are in a movie as the story jumps from web, into the classroom, to mobile devices and out into local China towns. The idea that a story exists on one screen or one piece of paper is no longer true. And, this has been the case since story worlds began to jump from pages and screens and into action figures and roleplaying games. Best case study: the Star Wars Franchise.
But this isn’t all Hollywood, and a new project from Latitude, which continues to do really interesting stuff, helps us begin to consider this.
The Future of Storytelling Project offers us some insights and possible frameworks for how those of us who like to create worlds and tell stories might find our audiences. ”People are enthusiastic about new storytelling possibilities, but there’s no ‘one-size-fits all approach,’” says Kim Gaskins, Director of Content Development at Latitude, who co-led the study. “When we compared people along dimensions that aren’t normally considered—like the desire for more active participation, more immersion, or more personal impact—it confirmed that new dimensions of experience, and new ways to measure them, will become even more important as stories extend across and beyond screens.”
Jumping off screens – that is what we want our stories to do, just like when we gathered around fires and heard the laws and histories of our communities told in oral traditions. We want technology to take our stories back into a place that traverses the analogue and the digital, where reality and fantasy blur a little (because that is what great stories, and good lives, do).
There is a heap of material that Latitude has produced that is worth sifting through if you have any interest in telling stories.
Download the full report: The Future of Storytelling