Thursday, June 18, 2009

Writers' Conference

Here's a link to the Surrey International Writers' Conference in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. I have never attended, but have heard great things about it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Narratives online

I have spent most of the last six weeks travelling (for work). I am back home again, tired, and way behind on everything, including posting to this blog.

I have been spending some time surfing the net looking at examples of work by young people that involves constructing narratives using multiple modalities (e.g., text, images, animation, voiceover) and posting them online. Very typically what people do is use resources in existing software utilities, like role-playing games. They draw upon the game to create characters (robotic soldier), settings (futuristic battleground), and actions (jumping, shooting), then put together a storyline or short episode. Machinima (machine + cinema) is an example of this creative genre.

The video below provides a tutorial of how to create machinima using the game World of Warcraft. It also models character creation, and plays with the boundary between exposition and fantasy.

I find it fascinating that the power of story is such that people find ways to create narratives using whatever is at hand. Around each of these types of creativity, a community springs up, offering an audience, critique, and suggestions. At the same time, commercial enterprises that create the games, films, and products (all interlinked) have a huge role in shaping the fantasy worlds, character options, and narrative themes that are possible. Hmmm.

I am trying to get my head around how this fits with the traditions of written literature (e.g., novels) especially, and also oral storytelling, performance, and film.

We are storying beings.