This prompt was really interesting for me because there was nothing that I currently have done in my past that could have applied to any of these terrible consequences. However, as everyone could hopefully quickly realize, it’s hard to not be able to do something that would cause one of these events. That’s what I’d like to discuss today.
Interactive narratives were the focus of our class this week and last. Let me tell you something right away, they are a blast! As you are probably already aware, these are any form of media that allow the user to interact in order to alter the story. We focused on figurative alterations such as advancement of plot and characters as opposed to literally changing the story by turning the page.
Back to the original prompt, where I was unable to divulge a secret that could ruin my career, education, or family-life. After a couple minutes of pondering, I realized that if this were an interactive narrative, I’d have thousands of ways to do something that could cause one of these outcomes!
NOTE: I absolutely love my life and all current aspects associated with it. Please realize the following scenarios are hypothetical!
I could have easily publicly shared sensitive work documents, my previous exams from school, or even letters that belong to my parents. If someone were choosing my actions similar to an interactive narrative, then they would easily tell me to go fight my boss, cheat on my fiancee, or bankrupt my parents. And that is exactly what makes interactive narratives so appealing!
Take for example, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, an interactive video game that has the player controlling the actions of a hero or heroine of a fantasy land. Instead of progressing through the story in a linear fashion, the player has the ability to interact with the game in millions of different ways, similar as to as if they were living as that person. Not surprisingly, you’ll find that most players choose to do something completely unethical, insane, or shocking just to see what the expected outcome would be. In the video game this amounts to things such as eating hundreds of plants at one time, fighting a guard, or joining a guild of thieves.
My latest project tried to capture this idea of unorthodox and unrealistic scenarios and mash them into an interactive narrative that I call, “Choose Your Own Adventure”. I quickly learned that the sheer amount of paths (it was actually exponential in my case…) as well as trying to write my own responsive framework was a huge undertaking. So many, many hours and pots of coffee later, I hope you enjoy!