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WRT has it on good authority (the authors’) that Chris Crawford, collaborating with Laura J. Mixon, is readying the full launch of an interactive story-authoring system almost 20 years in the making. Introducing “SWAT” (Storyworld Authoring Tool) and Storyteller (the software for playing a SWAT Storyworld). Crawford first took on this epic quest […]

This past week at the University of California, Irvine, all the members of Grand Text Auto descended on the Beall Center for an exhibition of their work and a symposium. How does a blog become an exhibit? Quite easily, as the artist/critics of that widely read blog presented works from their variegated repertoire.
Included […]

[This post relates to a thread of posts about interactive exhibits for children, children’s museums, and child-like theory.]

Electronic interactive drama should be like live interactive theater, right? But exactly how much interaction is in children’s theater?

When critics, artists, and others discuss interactive drama (experienced via computers), they often make allusions to interactive theater from “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” to long-form improv. [see this 1986 article from LucasFilm’s Doug Crockford]. At times, they also allude to theater for children. This follows allusions to interactive theater in Marie Laure-Ryan among others, particularly with regard to child’splay. In her dichtung-digital article, Marie-Laure Ryan differentiates seems to champion paidia–the free and open play of children, which is both mimetic and participatory. Ryan notes children’s mimetic play and improv theater as share these attributes. No doubt we would find such play in improvisational theater for children.

However, I’ve recently had first hand experience with the amount of play in children’s theater and I’ve begun to rethink the amount of agency and interaction (locally and globally) in these pieces.

Let me relate one audience-member parent’s experience:

The latest Iowa Review Web issue out this July is “Reconfiguring Place and Space in New Media Writing.”
In it I interiew Nick Montfort on his interactive fiction work Book and Volume. In addition to discussing tropes and themes in the work we also talk about aspects of craft including goals, timed events, atmospheric descriptions, and […]

WRT interview with Chris Crawford: well-known game industry critic and interactive storytelling evangelist. Yes, that’s right. We’ve interviewed Chris and it is a podcast!
Chris Crawford has been pursuing the design of new worlds using new media for two decades. He wrote The Art of Computer Game Design whilst leading the games research group at Atari. […]

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