Storytelling in the digital age

To the children of today who spend time in front of computers with joysticks, mouses, and keyboards, the intense sensual stimulation of digital mediums combined with their participatory format offers completely ordinary but indescribable enjoyment.

McLuhan’s statement concerning new mediums, that “All mediums that expand the five human senses offer a new vision and perception,” is all the more relevant in the cultural arena of today’s digital age. The displacement of old mediums by new ones indicates a need for us to redefine the art that sprouts from human sentiment, to perceive the world at a more foundational level, to redefine the self, and to exchange such fresh perceptions and definitions through redefined modes of communication.

Then what changes have the so-called digital age and its various transformations enacted upon culture, or more specifically the act of storytelling? Content such as online games, mobile movies, interactive television shows, web advertisements, and web edutainment (educational entertainment) are concepts that did not exist in previous periods. Strictly speaking, however, all of these platforms are based on the past cultural forms that heavily relied on text.

With the advent of modern digital technology, each new incarnation escaped traditional restraints to form innovative disruptions, spawning unique phenomena that would have been impossible to establish within preceding paradigms. With the appearance of multimedia, multi-channel communication networks, the concept of storytelling is now being applied to a variety of forms and channels. Although digital storytelling is new and has no precise domain or definition, it is an unexplored, dynamic dimension with immense potential and the possibility for infinite development.

Digital storytelling is the creative process of using digital technology as a medium or as a tool of expression. In the academic world, it is understood as a creative process that utilizes integrated new media or as the technology used in such a process.

Major online games, interactive TV shows or films can be shown as good examples of digital storytelling. This futurelearn platform is also good example of changing methods for pedagogy. In your point of view, what is good digital storytelling? Please share examples.

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This article is from the free online course:

Transmedia Storytelling

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)