Interactive documentaries: a golden age

Ursu, M.F., Zsombori, V., Wyver, J., Conrad, L., Kegel, I. and Williams, D. 2009. Interactive documentaries: a golden age. Computers in Entertainment. 7 (3).

TitleInteractive documentaries: a golden age
AuthorsUrsu, M.F., Zsombori, V., Wyver, J., Conrad, L., Kegel, I. and Williams, D.
Abstract

This article is motivated by the opportunity presented by recent advances in information and communication technology—particularly by faster broadband connections and faster digital media processing capabilities—for interactive television to extend and develop interactive storytelling or interactive narratives. This will give viewers the ability to shape and configure the programs they watch, while watching, according to their needs and desires. Rather than consuming a predefined linear narration—represented by the traditional dramatic or factual program—which has to address the potential audience as a whole, individuals or groups of viewers can receive tailored-made personal narratives. Each viewer can thus potentially become an active explorer of a narrative space rather than a receiver of a predefined narration. This article presents the production of A Golden Age, an interactive configurable documentary about the arts of the Renaissance in England, as a comprehensive illustration of the potential offered by interactive narration. At the same time, it is also a successful example of the employment of the recently developed, production- and genre-independent, ShapeShifting Media technology in the realization of a good quality interactive narrative. This article describes the concept of A Golden Age, the content production process, carried out from the outset with the aim of producing an interactive experience, and, finally, its authoring and delivery with the ShapeShifting Media toolkit. A Golden Age is a production realized by Illuminations Television Ltd, London, in collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London and BT over a period of more or less two years.

JournalComputers in Entertainment
Journal citation7 (3)
ISSN1544-3574
YearSep 2009
PublisherACM
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1145/1594943.1594953
Publication dates
PublishedSep 2009

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