When I tell most people that I want to tell interactive stories, the first thing they say is either “oh, like video games? No one cares about video game stories they just wanna play.”


“I remember ‘choose your own adventure stories. Really think that’ll still work?”

There is an awful lot packing in those two statements. First, people do play games to play games, but all the best video games have great stories. Second, I do think “choose your own adventure stories” still work — if we bring them crashing into the 21st century.

But, interactive stories can mean so much more that just video games or “if you walk into the room, turn to page 372.” They mean bonus features, social media, and embedded games. What about stories that literally change every time you read them? How can computers cater a story specifically to an individual reader? The possibilities go so much further than video games and out-dated mysteries.

Fellow storytellers at www.interactivenarratives.org have done an awesome thing by bringing together a list of interactive stories. Check out what people are doing today to tell great interactive stories.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place

Produced by: SBS Online

These are stories about a patch of land in Sydney, an infamous acre known as the Block, a place steeped in a rich history of Aboriginal culture, activism and hope. Over time, tragedy, drug abuse and crime crept into the Indigenous-owned housing precinct. In September 2010, the few remaining tenants received notice to vacate their homes. The Aboriginal Housing Company, which owned the crumbling terraces, was keen to redevelop the land. Now vacant, the Block sits on the verge of a new, uncertain rebirth. This virtual time capsule invites you to explore the Block, to witness the events that defined its 40-year history, and to meet the people whose lives it has shaped. More”¦

Rite of Passage

Produced by: Maggie Steber, Catherine Spangler, Annie Etheridge, Alexandra Avakian, Rob Finch, Jennifer Redfearn, Tim McLaughlin, Caitlyn Greene, Joe Fuller, Brian Storm

When Madje’s dementia proved relentless, her daughter Maggie moved her life to care for her. Maggie documented the liberation from the roles she and her mother had learned to play — a discovery that gave her the mother she always wanted. More”¦

The Debt Trap

Produced by: Amy O’Leary, Tom Jackson, Todd Heisler, Matthew Orr, Emily Hager, Amy Schoenfeld, Matthew Bloch, Amanda Cox, Gretchen Morgenson

A series of articles and multimedia about the surge in consumer debt and the lenders who made it possible. More”¦

See what’s possible. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Comment below if you have more examples you’d like to share with the world.

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Chris Michaels

Storyteller. Researcher. Coder. Innovator. I seek to push the boundaries of storytelling and education.
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