July 5, 2011
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Interaction Illustrated

J. C. Hutchins describes a “transmedia” approach to storytelling with immersive, interactive illustration. The mockups are lovingly crafted and worth a look. The hypothetical story, on the other hand, repeats a common myth, endemic to new media wannabes through the ages, that the detective story is chiefly about discovering answers.

Let’s pick up our near-futuristic detective thriller from where we left off: In the image above, the story’s “scanner” has correctly identified the mysterious villain, and the reader is rewarded with on-screen biographical information about the character. There’s no need to articulate this moment of discovery using novel-style text later in the tale; the reader himself experienced it. Perhaps this information could be added to an interactive “dossier,” so the reader can review it whenever he wishes in later chapters.

Hutchins buys into Hamlet On The Holodeck without showing much awareness of the problems I call “My friend, Hamlet”, nor does he show a lot of interest in the distinction between story, plot, and presentation. So this is essentially a 1987-style proposal, with gorgeous mockups; there’s even a commenter eager to suggest “Choose Your Own Adventure!” as inspiration.