Making an interactive drama out of a creative crisis


The debate over how to do interactive drama has raged for well over a decade – I can recall conversations and gatherings about branched narratives, multiple endings and the like peppering the years of my working life since the earliest days of interactive technology. I still hear those kind of conversations from time to time despite the ubiquity of games on- and off-line.

I had the pleasure last week of hooking up with Greg Goodfried, co-creator of Lonelygirl15 in Banff, Alberta. I’m a huge admirer of LG15 as a beacon of interactive drama – it perfectly exploits the fact that the wherewithal to tell stories in interactive video has finally come to be. Lonelygirl points the way ahead in its well judged, fully engaged exploitation of YouTube, networks and collaborative media.

The work Tim Wright and Rob Bevan, my collaborators on MindGym, did in the late 90s on their follow-up project Online Caroline (and subsequent forays into interactive narrative) was visionary and on the right trajectory, but without the benefit of the ideal tools now at our disposal. Caroline was very much the mummy of Lonelygirl.

How KateModern goes, LG15’s new commission from Bebo in the UK, will be fascinating to follow. What’s intriguing is that Kate will be part of the same immersive fictional world as Bree and the Hymn of One so there’s every chance the stories will meet and cross-fertilise somewhere along the line.

How the hand-crafted story and community weaving of LG15 scales up will also be very interesting to observe.

1 comment so far

  1. […] two of the three co-founders) pulled by yesterday on a trip to London. As I’ve made clear earlier on Simple Pleasures, I’m a big fan of LonelyGirl15 as an indicator of what can be done in the […]

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