Interactive digital narrative is becoming more popular with examples like Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch movie. Other types of interactive narrative you may be familiar with are the Choose Your Own Adventure books from your childhood. Not to mention many narrative heavy video games like The Witcher which is also now on Netflix.
Some interactive digital narratives are created better than others because the story is better, the characters are better, the production value is higher or because the choices given to the interactors are more meaningful. Nobody wants to feel pigeon-holed into making a decision they don’t want to, but if the narrative gives you the option of the red pill versus the blue pill (The Matrix), it can cause someone to feel excitement and intrigue about where the narrative may go next based on the choice that is made.
So what about nonfiction interactive narratives? So far fictional stories have tried out interactivity in many different ways, but nonfiction seems to still be emerging in digital narratives. Maybe you’ve visited a museum at some point and saw a digital display where you could choose which historical artefacts to view? Or maybe you were given the option to get an audioguide or download a mobile app for your visit?
The experimentation of putting the viewer into the driver’s seat and making them an interactor is what my PhD research is about. I specifically look at how we can create these interactive digital experiences for tourists so that museums and other memory institutions like galleries, libraries, and travel companies can produce better, more meaningful and memorable digital narratives.
Here’s where you come in! You can play a role in improving digital narratives – whether you like to travel, play video games or are a fan of Black Mirror – by participating in my research study.
You can participate by:
1. Navigating to this webpage: nicolebasaraba/iDoc-research
2. Providing an email address to content to participate in this study
3. Interacting with the interactive web documentary (see movie trailer below)
4. Taking the post-interaction survey (which should take you 10 minutes or less)