The storyline is set, but the audience is free to move around the narrative environment in different ways.
Within this structure the audience is not going to be able to affect the flow or outcome of a story, but they have the freedom to explore the story in more detail and/or in any order. Just Grandma and Me [May94] is a clear example. Within this CD-ROM the audience is presented with a tale about a boy and his grandmother going to the beach and having a fun day together. In no way is the audience going to be influencing the tale, it simply flows from page to page just as if it were a book. However, within each book page, many other tiny adventures are available to enrich the story with the click of a mouse. "Click!" and the frog goes water-skiing across the page. "Click!" and the starfish does a little dance. "Click!" and the radio starts to play the Just Grandma and Me theme tune. Other stories such as 24 Hours with Someone You Know [Bur96] allow the audience to travel through the narrative in a number of different ways. Such narratives are like going on a treasure hunt and the treasure in the end is an enriched experience of a complete story.
Copyright © 1996, 1999 Katherine Phelps