The Language of New Media Narrative & New Media
The projectOntology of a Computer*Bring computer ontology into cultural space.*Borrow from art history, cinema,…Software Objects:1-Data Structure2-Algorithm
Goal• Could digital medium be a fully expressive medium?- express deeper truth about…
What is New Media?Digital/InteractiveNarrative:1. Database2. Virtual Space
DatabaseCollection of filesstorage, fast Databasequick accessNarrative in DB…..
What is a Narrative? Why Do we need Narrative? •The story form is a transparent window on reality. Jerome Seymour Bruner •We also cling to narrative models of reality and use them to shape our everyday experiences. Bruner, Jerome S In Poetics (335 BCE), Aristotle states that narratives are best produced when “they follow cause and effects.” H. Porter Abbott, the narrative theorist, asserts that “narrative is the representation of an event or a series of events.” The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative. beginning +ending + sequence/logic• An experience is not a narrative:• Paul Ricoeur, “the concern of narrative is coherence and structure, not the creation of a particular kind of experience.” Atkins 2003.
Database & NarrativeGoes back to hypertext and narrative theories• DB Narrative: – no beginning, or ending, no thematic development (218) – Additional material could be added without changing the logic Database• DB as a “cultural form”• A new way to structure our experience• Dominance of DB form – (museum images on CD-ROM)• Collection of items that don’t tell stories• database and narrative are natural enemies
Database & Narrative1- Game (narrative) vs. database(oppose narrative)*Games have some type of database embedded in them.*A db has to be accessed by an algorithm to function.Ex. Bio of artist on a CD-ROM vs. a narrative bioCD-ROM database use is a basic use of database what about having a more sophisticated algorithm…Manovich divides DB from algorithm to examine its characteristics but he doesn’t bring algorithms back to the discussion to examine db function.A db can not work without algorithm and algorithm can not function without db.C -> The possibility of creating narrative in db lies in algorithm design + db
Navigable Space & NarrativeSpatial design in creating narrative.Games like Doom & Myst create a spatialjourney. Navigation through the 2D/3DDigital environment is the key to suchgames.Focusing on Navigability but doesn’t talkabout the Image, quality and characteristics of thisSpaceHenri Jenkins(Spatial Storytelling):1- “environmental storytelling creates the preconditions for an immersive narrative experience.” Design as Narrative Architecture (2004)2- embedding “narrative information within [the] mise-en-scène”.C-> people “… who are most often schooled in computer science or graphic design, need to be retooled in the basic vocabulary of narrative theory.” Jenkins 2004.
Interactivity & NarrativeThe navigable space is an interactive space. Interactive Narrative moves forwardthrough interaction of the player with the environment.Manovich argues that versus traditional mediums of storytelling, modern literature, theatre, cinema which story moves forwardthrough physiological tensions between characters, the plot in a computer game is moved forward by the interaction of theuser, as the main hero (game character) travels through the digital space.Game-> is interactive->has narrativeWhat can interactivity do to narrative?Interactivity can reduce a narrative to an experience…Satisfaction of reading a novel/ watching a film is inauthor’s sequence of eventsErnest Adams:Interactivity is almost the opposite of narrative; narrative flows under the direction ofthe author, while interactivity depends on the player for motive power.Adams, Ernest. "The Designers Notebook: Three Problems for Interactive Storytellers."
Navigability & Subjectivity• According to Lev Manovich, The navigable space is a subjective space as its architecture responds to the subject movement and emotion.• Ex. Subjectivity of the flâneur is determined through interaction with the group.Navigating the virtual space(the Net)as an anonymous observer creates theposition of the flâneur, data flâneur.Playing a computer game, navigatingthough a computer game space creates the positionof the explorer
New Media is NEW• One school of thought (Ludology): Espen Aarseth, Gonzalo Frasca, Markku Eskelinen, and Jesper Juul• “games are not narratives.”• In Simulation versus Narrative: Introduction to Ludology (2003), Gonzalo Frasca writes: “The storytelling model is not …not accurate [to use in new media because it]…limits our understanding of the medium and our ability to create even more compelling games.”• For Ludologists, new media should be categorized as a branch of game theory. Espen Aarseth, video game theorist, argues that interactive environments are better understood as “cybernetic systems” whose function follows user intervention, rather than storytelling systems. Aarseth coins the term “ergodic literature” as a brand- new way to describe the type of works that are dependent on reader intervention. In Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (1997) Aarseth writes: This phenomenon I call ergodic, using a term appropriated from physics that derives from the Greek words ergon and hodos, meaning “work” and “path.” In ergodic literature, nontrivial effort is required to allow the reader to traverse the text.
On the Opposite side• Murray, Janet:The visual space replaces the creative expression in film and literature.Janet Murray, media theorist, writes that “games are always stories, even abstract games such as checkers or Tetris, which are about winning and losing, casting the player as the opponent-battling or environment- battling hero.” Murray, Janet. "From Game-Story to Cyberdrama." First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game.Janet Murray: games are "as a metaphorical enactment of a life experience,” Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck Janet Murray Espen Aarseth
Conclusion*There is the process of gradual narrativedevelopment within a medium’sDevelopment. Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895) by The Lumière Brothers