Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Ways to Tell Stories?

Following the announcement that the MIT Media Laboratory has announced the creation of the Center for Future Storytelling and will work collaborate with Plymouth Rock Studios :
... to revolutionize how we tell our stories ...
Sam Leith in the Telegraph writes a piece which seems to miss the point of the initiative entirely!

It isn't that stories are at risk. We will always need narrative. I don't believe books will die any more than he does. There clearly aren't more plots to invent. It isn't (of course) possible to "run out of narrative". And the Centre for Storytelling project seems to refer much more to the interface between film and the online world than it does to text based fiction.

I do totally agree with him though that :
... the internet does some things very well, and the codex book does other things very well. There is an overlap - they are both means of preserving and sharing information - but it's foolish to see the two as interchangeable, or the former as supplanting the latter.
But with computer technology there are new ways to tell stories, and fiction will become undoubtedly become more interactive and there will be more hybrid forms of storytelling. I don't know about you, but I feel excited about that.

I must say though, that I am horrified, along with Leith and Philip Pullman about the decision to close a school library with its books and librarian for a "virtual learning environment".

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