USC IMD USC School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media Division
Godard “ A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end... but not necessarily in that order.” -Jean-Luc Godard Interactive narrative provides an opportunity to think about storytelling along multiple axes (i.e., we are not shackled to a three-act structure)
Kinder-Manovich debate Kinder-Manovich Debate Lev Manovich: database is the opposite of narrative “ [new media], are the new battlefield for the competition between database and narrative.” Marsha Kinder: all narrative is database narrative “ virtually all stories – like language itself – derive from combinations of narrative elements within a given set of parameters, which is very much in keeping with the way databases function.”
Ludology vs. Narratology Ludology vs. Narratology Ludology: interactivity is the opposite of narrative; we should not impose the critical apparatus of linear-based narratology on games; we need new models for thinking about game mechanics, social dynamics of gaming, etc. Narratology: both narrative and interactivity take many forms; even traditional linear narrative has elements of (emotional, cognitive) interactivity; narrative can be emergent, algorithmic, dynamic, etc.
What’s the problem? Designing narratives in an interactive structure means releasing a degree of control into the hands of two seemingly unreliable entities: 1. the user 2. the computer Releasing authorial control goes against cherished beliefs about artistic production: creativity, originality, authenticity, authority, etc.
Ian Flitman, Hackney Girl (generative / random) http://www.blipstation.com
Andrea Flamini: Melodrama 8 (generative / ambient)
Lev Manovich & Andreas Kratky: Soft Cinema (2005) (generative / algorithmic)
Barbara Lattanzi, HF Critical Mass http://www.wildernesspuppets.net
Personal ad Keywords describe a SNU and express preferences for other SNUs I am a man / woman ISO man / woman I am a cat / dog person ISO a cat / dog person I am a smoker / nonsmoker ISO a smoker / nonsmoker
Interactive sweet spot Functional relation (click left, go left; type an “a,” see an “a”) Interesting relation (non-trivial, reflective, algorithmic response) No relation (lack of agency: random results to user input)