Evolving Narrative Storytelling in the Digital Age

The Technology of Sticks and Pigment

You could say the relationship between storytelling and technology goes back a long time – that the first stories were told in caves and in the sand, and the first ‘technologies’ were the sticks and the pigments used to draw them.

There is clearly a shift taking place towards a multi media approach to exploring, developing, sharing and preserving stories, both age old and modern tales. These intersections present all sorts of possibilities which challenge us to question the nature of what constitutes narrative storytelling in its many manifestations as it evolves in the digital age.

Merging Digital with Traditional

At Moving Tales we hope that we can add much of value by merging the digital realm with text based and old world storytelling traditions. Exciting possibilities emerge when we combine existing traditions of telling stories with digital innovations. New technology is making it possible to create new forms of storytelling – new kinds of narratives for new kinds of platforms, for new kinds of audience.

Stories Become Stronger Over Time

One thing that makes a story strong over time is its ability to evolve as it is passed along from person to person, from culture to culture, and from generation to generation. In a strictly traditional context, this ‘passing along’ does not depend upon, but neither should it preclude technology.

I don’t think we need to worry that the art of storytelling will die out as technology evolves. A really good story will always outlive the technology used to tell it, and this is precisely why the best stories in the world have been around for so long. Stories which were being told thousands of years ago still resonate today. If they didn’t, they would have died out long ago.

A digital story might be described as the way in which the language of a narrative is embedded and enriched with visual images and aural elements through the use of digital technology. With the creation of our first app we asked ourselves how these evolving digital technologies could be best used to enhance the experience of a story. We thought long and hard about what sort of content we could and should produce to best embrace the innovative opportunities inherent in the iPad, while honoring the legacy of age old narrative forms.

The Keyboard-less Digital Experience

We saw the introduction of the iPad as a seminal moment in the emerging digital age. Getting rid of the keyboard and the mouse and allowing the finger to become the primary means of engagement, is a bold evolutionary step. This is a platform that brings all the formerly disparate digital strands such as sound, film, audio, interactivity and portability together in a single device which requires almost no instruction to use and is a joy to experience. Exciting!

Storytelling in the digital age may require that we step outside our comfort zone by challenging us to redefine how we think of stories, and how stories are made and shared.

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