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Reflection : Designing a Database Cinema

Marsha Kinder: Designing a Database Cinema

What I enjoyed most about ‘The Labyrinth Project’ is that while it tries to tell the story of fictional characters/ events that have happened decades ago, they invoke our knowledge and the elements of new media to convert the content into more interactive bits of narratives easy for users to consume. Like in ‘Tracing the Decay of Fiction’, ghostly figures, and audio and images from the past are used to bring the users back to the time period of the assassination, yet it uses the familiarity of navigating an online game to start to reveal facts and past happenings.

I compare it to an online game, because from this reading I have learnt that one of the most important elements of database or interactive narrative experiences is gamification. This is where elements of a game, for example having different choices with consequences or a reward of more information if the users find it, are incorporated. Allowing user’s participation in a way that rewards them with artefacts or content, and even allowing them to choose the sequence, gives them a sense of involvement in the story.

This however presents a different set of challenges for its designers, where they have to carefully consider the artefacts and content to be shown, as also quoted in the passage ‘narratives must mediate between biological programming and cultural imprinting.’ So must shown content be enough to fill in the gaps of sequence of events, when it comes to projects like ‘Bleeding Through’, a user’s pre-existing knowledge and life experiences must be taken into account of how they could interpret the content.