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Re: Welcome

Hi Dan,

I've been running an interactive television (taken as a 'storytelling'
device) workshop now for three years in Media Lab at Helsinki.

Thanks about your words, the lack of other than thriller and secrects on
i-drama genres makes me wait the new things to developed, too.
I liked the idea of 'gap'. It's a small but important good point. I'd like
to hear more like that.
Having a filmwriter backround I'm - ironicly enough - still suspicious
about the use of the word story in realation of interactivity. In the true
sense of a word story. Would be nice to be converted in that.

So far all the interesting i-drama works I've experienced are more near to
the idea of communication and simulation than a story. We are building now
an i-tv work for public television (5 hours of stuff) that relies on
dialog. Dialog between the i-system (actions of characters + software) and
the collective of users. It feels like a story but it's really more like a
simulation of developement/love on two characters.
This has happened several times, interesting i-drama projects starts on
character or story driven basis but they change on simulation or
communication motivated systems. So I have started to formulate the
possible dramatic principles for mutation between story and simulation.
Maybe it's 'storymulation' that we need..
Shrotly, in 'storylike' i-drama I wouldn't give user the possiblitity for
control, only the chance to have a dialog with characters.

Raimo Lang

p.s  I'll check the book

>We've had a huge influx of people from the Erasmateers mailing list.
>Welcome. Maybe now we can get this mailing list flowing again.
>Alas, the timing is a little unfortunate, as I'm running around like a
>headless chicken this week in preparation for SIGGRAPH next week. So I
>can't put as much effort as I'd like into getting the discussion going.
>A little background:
>For a long time I've believed that the game development community has hit
>a couple of genres fairly effectively. Action/Adventure seems to be fairly
>well served, mystery a little less so.
>However, this leaves many levels of drama unfulfilled. My own interests
>lie in finding a way to tap the romance market.
>A few years ago when we worked at Pixar's now defunct interactive group,
>Todd Gemmell, Steve Wendell and I started talking about starting a company
>to do interactive drama. And we came up with some pretty good ideas, but
>as we learned more and more about the nature and structure of stories we
>realized that while the products we envisioned might be interesting and
>fun, they wouldn't have the aspects of compelling story that would let
>them into the markets we hoped to tap.
>One of the common mistakes of the first novel writer, and I've done this,
>is to develop background on a bunch of characters, fully flesh them out,
>then put them into a universe and see what story develops.
>At the recent Phrontisterion I was pushing the notion that character
>driven story doesn't sell. Chris Crawford posited that character and story
>were two different views of the same thing. I still disagree.
>When we tell a story, our audience is rarely asking "who are these
>people?", instead they're asking "what happened next?". Stories are
>sequences of events, those events often reveal information about the
>characters involved, but the events only reveal small parts of the
>Robert McKee, in both his book "Story" and the three day lecture from
>which the book is derived, says that the smallest element of the story is
>the beat. A beat is when a character says or does something. When this
>event happens, it cannot be what the audience expected, or we've imparted
>no information. However, when the gap between reality and expectation
>opens up the audience has to be able to look back in their previous
>experience of this story and figure out why their expectations were wrong.
>The further we can make them look back, and the stronger the revelation
>that shows them the meaning for their misdirected expectations, the more
>satisfying the story is.
>My current quandary is: If we offer the audience control over character
>revelations, how do we find a story?
>So I'm starting to look towards methods of replacing icons and symbols in
>the story, culling and changing to enhance the portions with particular
>meaning to a given audience, rather than trying to put a bunch of heavily
>fleshed out "agents", characters, together in a universe and hoping that a
>story somehow evolves from that.
>Anyway, feel free to take any or all of this apart, I'll try to dedicate a
>little more time to responses before Friday when I'm off to [choke] LA for
>a week.
>Aaaaaand, if any of y'all are gonna be around at SIGGRAPH, a couple of us
>are going to be holding an unofficial party at the Figueroa bar on Tuesday
>night, 10 to midnight, I think. Find me and I'll buy you a drink. And I'll
>be at the Pixar booth on Thursday if you miss the Figueroa.
>Let the royal rumpus begin!