[iDC] story web

nick knouf nknouf at media.mit.edu
Wed Jul 5 17:25:17 EDT 2006

iDC List Members,

There is some recent precedence for the wiki-based collaborative  
story development that Julian mentioned at the end of his post.

Some of you might know Ze Frank (http://zefrank.com/) from his weekly  
video series The Show (http://www.zefrank.com/theshow/).  He has  
recently been playing around with collaborative, wiki development of  
show scripts:


He encourages people to create and edit a script that he then  
videotapes for his site.

If you look at what he ended up with, for a three minute spot, you  
can see how the lack of coherence and "douchebag" jokes reflect some  
of the concerns that Eric raised:


Now, this might be appropriate for the snarky (in a positive sense)  
videos that Ze Frank is known for producing, but for other types of  
content, i.e., engaging and long-term story-lines in interactive  
narratives, this is likely not what one desires.

I share Eric's concerns about not wanting to be elitist while also  
understanding the way that many creative people work.  I'm still  
waiting to see (or develop) a collaborative creative system that does  
not degenerate into meaningless chaos.  How can we create a system  
that through its design, enables a "meaningful" chaos or  
"multiplicity" (to delve into Deleuzian-speak here) that reflects how  
many (or maybe just myself) feel about the multifaceted online world?

I'm still trying to come up with an answer.


On Jul 4, 2006, at 10:42 AM, Stallabrass, Julian wrote:
> On Eric’s mordant but fundamental remarks:
> In big-name gaming, we are already settled mostly with Hollywood  
> scenarios, so it’s not clear that the Story Web would make things  
> any worse. It opens the possibility for two effects:
> One may be simply to augment the power and ideology of existing  
> gaming narrative, creating greater immersion and arguably with it  
> less critical awareness on the part of players. That’s a real  
> possibility and danger.
> The other is that it allows some more independent-minded people to  
> create plots that take players somewhere different—as I said in  
> terms of sophistication, moral grey areas, lack of neat endings and  
> so on.
> The issue of the quality of writing itself may matter less. One  
> should expect much less than wonderful stuff. But as with other  
> mods, these contributions often drop out of the picture as their  
> reputation gets around. Alexander Galloway had a look at the idea,  
> and suggested formalising this, so that players could choose to see  
> ratings for each story strand.
> --Julian
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