Developmental Steps in Computer-Mediated Storytelling

Katherine Phelps

With other artistic genres such as novel writing, painting, or musical composition, students of these arts examine their historical development in order to hone and develop their own skills, and be inspired with new ideas. Computer-mediated storytelling does not have a long tradition from which creators can draw. However, digital creators are not working within a vacuum either. Much time and effort is being wasted by people crossing-over from other media, such as cinema, television or print, who then "re-invent the wheel" out of unfamiliarity with the history of digital narrative.

Given we are at such an early stage, an important step is to become aware of as many medium specific skills as possible, and these may be derived from a diversity of sources. These skills may be observed in works of high art such as those found amongst the Eastgate productions, or even in commercial games like Doom, Tomb Raider, or Myst. To develop an appropriate skill set, in order to fulfil my creative vision, I have chosen to focus on this history, not so much from the perspective of landmark works of artistic or commercial merit, but in terms of developmental steps.