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An integrated perspective on IDN  

An integrated perspective on IDN  

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Conference Paper
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This paper outlines a roadmap for interactive narrative research that integrates disparate parts while focusing on identifying and experimentally veri‐ fying IDN design conventions and on developing a pedagogy to further the devel‐ opment of a professional discipline of IDN creators. This effort connects several key areas, in which the authors have...

Citations

... In regards to Interactive Digital Narratives (IDNs), there is still an ongoing debate to differentiate and categorize them from other interactive digital systems (Tavinor, 2008;Koenitz et al., 2016). Instead of engaging in this debate, we aim to investigate the shared characteristics of play between interactive digital systems such as IDNs and video games. ...
Article
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There is a growing interest in understanding how to best represent complexity using IDNs. We conceptualize this as the aim to make players of such IDNs reflect critically on the complexity being represented. We argue that current understandings of player experience do not lend themselves to this aim. Research on interactive media has assumed immersion to be a universal positive for the player experience. However, in this article we argue that immersion into the Magic Circle of an IDN could be antagonistic to a critical experience. This is because immersion persuades players into suspending their disbelief, rather than facilitating critical reflection. Instead we propose, on the basis of the Epic Theater, an alternative form of play called alienated play. Meaning, a form of play in which the player is playing, while also observing themselves play. This form of play should allow for players to benefit from the enjoyable nature of play, while simultaneously remaining at a critical distance. To illustrate our theory we design two models, one for immersed play and one for alienated play. Furthermore, we present examples of the design for alienation in commercial video games, as well as hypotheses to test out theory in future research. Therefore, this work contributes an initial theoretical and practical informed form of play, specifically designed to facilitate critical reflection on IDNs representing complexity.
... The first goal is to situate the use of factual IDN to create knowledge within the epistemic rhetorical discourse of the Neo-sophists by examining their rhetorical tactics. Achieving this goal means aligning and situating their rhetorical tactics within the proposed System-Process-Product Model (SPP Model) for IDN (Koenitz, 2010;Koenitz et al., 2016Koenitz et al., , 2020. The SPP Model is a framework for IDN that is used by the INDCOR research action (Koenitz et al., 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
The turn to Interactive Digital Narratives to understand complexity offers a new model for creating, developing, and maintaining knowledge. At the same time, storytellers have turned their attention to Virtual Reality (VR). The confluence of these trends draws attention to how non-fiction practitioners can use the technical and aesthetic affordances of VR to create knowledge about complex subjects through the IDN form. This article explores the epistemic rhetorical nature of using narrative discourse in VR to create knowledge about a non-fiction subject. The IDN community has not addressed this rhetorical aspect in their proposed epistemological process. Clarifying the epistemic rhetorical aspect inherent in producing knowledge on complex subjects through IDN provides insights into practitioners’ persuasive and political design and development choices. These intentional choices, in turn, impact the kind of knowledge produced. This rhetorical approach to knowledge production can be grounded in a Neo-sophist epistemic tradition wherein aesthetic choices are used rhetorically. I will present and discuss the Sophist rhetorical tactics of antithesis, the rhetoric of the possible; enargeia, the rhetoric of vivid details; kairos, the rhetoric of opportune timing; and mêtis, the rhetoric of the body. Their implementation by practitioners, how these aesthetic choices rhetorically create knowledge in the System-Process-Product model is presented. The article clarifies these rhetorical processes and choices and analyzes the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival’s Best Immersive Narrative, The Changing Same: An American Pilgrimage: Episode 1 . This VR factual IDN allows interactors to experience historical moments of racial injustice in the United States. The production team was interviewed about how they used the technical and aesthetic qualities of VR and IDN rhetorically to produce knowledge about the complex and violent history of racial injustice in the United States. Their responses indicate their active use of epistemic rhetorical tactics that capitalize on the technical and aesthetic affordances of VR and IDN to create knowledge.
... Interactive digital narratives (IDN) is a rapidly evolving area of research [12,13] and transmedia narratives can contribute to the development of the field, especially when dealing with applied research. Previous work [14] has analysed how the HCI research community has been addressing climate change to the general public, especially their interaction, storytelling and media choices. ...
Chapter
Climate change is arguably one of the most debated issues today. The scale and global reach of this crisis doesn’t afford a universal solution and requires widespread global mobilization. Public engagement is essential for the success of any initiative on this topic. However, sometimes communicating the facts is not enough. Interactive storytelling and transmedia narratives have an important part to play in communicating climate change, especially in shifting from a mere transmission of data to a narrative that is more engaging, positive and action focused, that considers diverse audiences and active participation. Following this premise, we conducted a survey on climate change applied research projects addressing the general public to understand how the fields of interactive media, HCI and Design are using transmedia narratives. The intention of this study is to gather what has been done regarding these topics and the strategies used, to further the debate among the community and inform future research.
... As Koenitz et al. (2016) have pointed out earlier, the interactive narrative designer finds their craftsmanship in the ability to express narrative through interaction. In other words, an interactive narrative designer understands the appeal of characters, or the importance of conflict and then must be able to apply this narrative sensibility when designing engaging interactions for its audiences. ...
... When they have acquired this alternative understanding of narrative, they can start using their skillset in a new way by applying specific design principles (Koenitz 2015b). For example, we ask students to design interesting narrative game mechanics (Dubbelman 2016) that invite the player to perform actions that support the construction of engaging stories and fictional worlds in the mind of the player. ...
Article
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In recent years, games with a focus on narrative have been a growing area. However, so far, interactive narrative aspects have not been the focus of video game education (with the noted exception of a small number of programs in game writing), which indicates that many narrative designers are self-trained. The insular status means that many designers use private vocabulary and conceptualizations that are not directly transferable. This state of affairs is an obstacle to productive discourse and has negative consequences for the further development of the professional field. By starting an educational program, we aim to address this problem using the opportunity to also include perspectives outside of games. We report on the first iteration of a minor in interactive narrative design, and reflect on lessons learned, while considering future trajectories for this and similar programs.
... IDN creators must develop a system where the content appears in readers' imagination as if they were really in the narrative world. In this way, the narrative can be understood as a mental construction where the readers' action and interaction trigger responses in the system (Koenitz et al., 2016) . Thus, for Janet Murray (2012), any interactive digital narrative's success is its "dramatic agency." ...
Article
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Recorre-se ao trabalho artístico Caléndulas (2020), criado por Lucas Gervilla e Soledad Rolleri para estabelecer relações entre memória, esquecimento, ruínas e nostalgia, sempre com a mediação da arte. A obra trabalha com a estética do abandono e utiliza o universo ruinoso para se relacionar com o conceito de ruinofilia, criado por Svetlana Boym (2011). Os diferentes conceitos de nostalgia propostos pela autora russa também são debatidos no texto, bem como a ideia de lejanía presente na obra Sin, de Samuel Beckett.
... A 2016 version of SPP, or SPP+ (Figure 4), attempts to synthesise it with the high-level components of the Userly Text model (cf. Koenitz et al. 2016). The system component is conceived here as a protostory -a prototype of potential narratives -equivalent to the Userly Text's encoded storyworld. ...
Preprint
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A high level model of the relations, in the field of interactive digital storytelling and narrative(IDS/N), between the world, the interactive narrative artefact and its subjective experience and representation, shows two processes of cognitive reduction: modelling (by an author/designer etc.) and userly performance (by a user). This is the complexity triad. The rest of the presentation begins to relate two existing models of IDS/N to this triad, leading to a discussion. Presented at an online working meeting of the EU COST action CA18230 INDCOR on 30th of March 2020
... The challenge for us as educators in the minor is to first help game design students "unlearn" linear and static ways of storytelling, which still dominate school education and public discourse about narrative [6]. We do this by expanding students' understanding of narrative and raising awareness for alternatives to the dominant eurocentric forms (e.g. ...
Chapter
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In recent years, interactive narrative design has become the main activity of a diverse group professionals working in video games, agencies, museums, at broadcasters, and online newspapers. At the same time, there has been no degree program in interactive narrative design, which indicates that many narrative designers are self-trained. By starting an educational program we aim to address this problem, using the opportunity to also include perspectives outside of games.
... As we have pointed out earlier, the interactive narrative designer finds its craftsmanship in the ability to express narrative through interaction (Koenitz et al. 2016). In other words, an interactive narrative designer understands the appeal of characters, or the importance of conflict and then must be able to apply this narrative sensibility when designing engaging player interactions. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ludonarrative aspects have not been the focus of video game studies. During the foundational phase of the discipline, the focus was placed on game mechanics and on understanding what distinguishes games from earlier forms like the movie or the novel. In recent years, however, the growing field of narrative-focused games (e.g. Dear Esther (The Chinese Room 2008), Gone Home (The Fullbright Company 2013), Telltale Games’ productions like The Walking Dead (Telltale Games 2012), The Wolf Amongst Us (Telltale Games 2013), Firewatch (Campo Santo 2016)) have alerted us to the possibilities of narrative expressions that embrace the affordances and unique possibilities of digital interactivity. In other words – these games do not attempt to ‘interactivize’ print literature or the movie, but instead explore a different and so far largely unexplored space of interactive digital narration. This development needs to be reflected in video game teaching. Yet, so far, narrative has been a stepchild in games education. Most game design degree programs feature only a single course on the topic. Our approach instead is to offer a minor concentration within a game design program.
... Koenitz explicitly positions the cyberbard as a "system designer" emphasizing the difference to traditional authorship with the motto: 'I will sit back and watch with amazement what the audience will do with it' [10]. Koenitz et al [26] further define this argument by foregrounding the systemic aspects of IDN creation. They described the IDN creator as having the ability to design an IDN system in such a way that meaningful narratives emerge in the imagination of users when they interact with the system [26]. ...
... Koenitz et al [26] further define this argument by foregrounding the systemic aspects of IDN creation. They described the IDN creator as having the ability to design an IDN system in such a way that meaningful narratives emerge in the imagination of users when they interact with the system [26]. Following cognitive narratologists such as Ryan [27], Bordwell [28] and Herman [29], narratives are understood here as being mental constructs, triggered in response to the user's interaction with the system, which is seen as the equivalent of the narratological category of 'text'. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper shares the results of an interactive digital narrative (IDN) project, conducted at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. We consider the potential of ‘IDN for change’, before we describe the project, the underlying design approach and the educational approaches. A particularfocus of this paper is on pedagogical considerations. We describe the educational challenges we have encountered during the project as well as the pedagogical interventions we have implemented to counter these difficulties. On this basis, we discuss a more general perspective on the state and issues in IDN-focused pedagogy.
... In this paper, we detail the implementation of our multipronged approach [20] to address these issues. Individual measures are: ...