Towards a Theoretical Framework for Interactive Digital Narrative
The emerging artistic practice of interactive narrative in digital media marks a profound departure from traditional narrative. The application of traditional narrative theory for interactive narrative is problematic, since the affordances of digital media challenge many underlying assumptions of theories related to non-digital media. This paper proposes a theoretical framework for interactive storytelling, which addresses these concerns by foregrounding system (the digital artifact) and process (the user interacting with the system) over the product-centered view of legacy media. On this basis, protostory, narrative design, and narrative vectors are proposed as new terms to more adequately describe the structure of narrative in interactive digital storytelling. This move is also relevant for practical design given the influence theoretical concepts have on concrete implementations.
KeywordsInteractive Storytelling Theory Interactive Narrative Digital Media Story Plot Legacy Media Instantiation Protostory Narrative Design Narrative Vectors
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