William Uricchio on Playing with Narrative | Open Documentary Lab at MIT | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it


"Interactive documentaries come in many different forms, some of their textual structures adhering rather closely to long established narrative traditions; others, explicitly taking the form of mini-narratives that the user can move among and link;

and still others offering rich if disaggregated possibilities to the motivated participant, who can connect the dots into a narrative experience.

Some projects (Alma: A Tale of Violence [Miquel Dewever-Plana & Isabelle Fougère, 2012] is a strong case; Bear 71 [Jeremy Mendes & Leanne Allison, 2012], a weaker one) are essentially retellings of past events and lead inexorably to certain fixed conclusions, despite the fact that users may navigate multiple the routes to that end state. These forms share qualities of the traditional narrative (a definite story arc based on past events, a narrator), even as they encourage excurses and wandering.

Others (Planet Galata – A Bridge in Istanbul [Florian Thalhofer & Berke Bas, 2010] and Question Bridge: Black Males [Johnson, Thomas, Smith and Sinclair, 2012]) require the user to wander and navigate at their own pace, exploring the spaces, characters and issues that they find interesting.

The makers have made choices about what to include and offer structures to help shape and lend coherence to the user experience, but there is no preordained conclusion or story arc other than that conjured up by the user."

Via mirmilla