The future is in interactive storytelling

An interesting piece. Easy-to-learn hypertext authoring tools like Twine and TextureWriter have encouraged many of my students to give this kind of storytelling a try.

As longtime experimenters and scholars in interactive narrative who are now building a new academic discipline we call “computational media,” we are working to create new forms of interactive storytelling, strongly shaped by the choices of the audience. People want to explore, through play, themes like those in Marvel’s stories, about creating family, valuing diversity and living responsibly. These experiences will need compelling computer-generated characters, not the husks that now speak to us from smartphones and home assistants. And they’ll need virtual environments that are more than just simulated space – environments that feel alive, responsive and emotionally meaningful. This next generation of media – which will be a foundation for art, learning, self-expression and even health maintenance – requires a deeply interdisciplinary approach. Instead of engineer-built tools wielded by artists, we must merge art and science, storytelling and software, to create groundbreaking, technology-enabled experiences deeply connected to human culture. — Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Michael Mateas, The Conversation