Digital Interactive Storytelling is, just as its name describes. It is when a story is delivered using a digital format such as a website, video, or app, allowing you to interact directly with the content for a more personalized, self-directed experience. For example, “interactive” might mean a branching activity… similar to a “choose your own adventure” where the outcome is dependent on the choices you make. In this case, you can develop and test your assumptions when responding to a variety of realistic situations. Or, interactivity may simply involve exploring supplementary information if and when you choose to, as you move through the story.
Digital interactive stories provide a multi-sensory experience, combining sound, visuals, videos, and motion graphics. Highly immersive, the intent is to make you feel as if you are a part of the story.
The storytelling element engages the heart. Interactive stories are especially powerful when they describe the narrator’s personal experience. Sobering and sometimes emotional, they are often used to bring attention to humanitarian atrocities. Although difficult to write and disturbing to read, the hope is that people will be moved by the circumstances that others have experienced, and be compelled to take action.
Digital Interactive Storytelling Example
BBC, National Geographic, PBS, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal – you don’t have to look far to see digital interactive storytelling at it’s finest. It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite, but here is a wonderful example of interactive digital storytelling, produced by the National Film Board of Canada: