Interactive Peer Workshop

Part of what I want us to explore in our interactive narrative unit is how the bits and pieces of text already in existence in the digital realm are constantly interacting with each other to form new narratives or texts (in random, combinatory, or generative ways, as we will discuss next week). To that end, I’d like for our peer workshop to be an experience in stringing together existing content into an overarching interactive narrative.

Here’s how it will work: each authorial team will be assigned two interactive narratives to read and review. The first step will be for your team to visit those narratives and spend a significant amount of time interacting with them. Make sure to survey the narrative thoroughly — you won’t be able to give accurate or helpful feedback if you don’t. Make extensive notes, whether or paper or digitally, while you do so, and specifically, explore how this narrative responds to some of the questions and concerns raised in this blog post, or in the Emily Short or Marie-Laure Ryan articles we read.

Once you have read your assigned narratives, your task will be to write a review of how each piece works as an interactive narrative, using the concepts raised above, in this Google doc.

Here’s the catch: everyone else is writing that narrative, too.

All of you will be working together to compose one long essay about different forms of interactive narratives, using your peers’ work as examples to examine different kinds of reader experiences. It will be up to you and your team to find a way to integrate your comments about each of your assigned narratives into that essay in a natural way. Perhaps you will want to add your comments to an existing paragraph on the same narrative (since multiple teams will be reading and responding to the same pieces). Or, perhaps you want to add your comments about one narrative to a paragraph that is discussing a peripheral reader experience. You will likely need to write transitional material that connects your thoughts to the content that others’ have already written.

There will be many options; the key will be for you to make a careful, thoughtful choice about how you can situate your feedback on each narrative into the larger context of this emerging essay about interactive narratives. You should absolutely incorporate hyperlinks to the relevant content, whether your peers’ interactive pieces, or links to other interactive pieces to which you are drawing comparisons, or theoretical articles, tools, or suggested models as part of your feedback.

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