The exploration of differing consequences I find the most exciting narrative addition that digital storytelling has to offer and the greatest challenge to creators. Creators need to select thematic investigations that include the possibility of multiple outcomes and present real chioces with real outcomes. Nothing annoys the audience more than to be presented with two apparently good choices only to find that one, for no real reason, leads to certain death. It is a short-cut made for convenience's sake and serves neither the story nor the audience. A skilled digital creator will create situations where the audience is primarily interested in the choices that they are given, and not suggest, but unavailable ones. A skilled digital creator will create outcomes that are fair to who the character is and the events that have lead to that outcome. I am fascinated by the idea of stories where choices lead to different but possibly equally appealing outcomes, so that we pull away from the idea that there is only one right way to travel through life. The Forever Growing Garden [Med94] has some of this feeling about it, in that the audience can select any collection of seeds they like and regardless of which seeds they choose, it is still fun watching the seeds grow and finally get harvested.
Copyright © 1996, 1999 Katherine Phelps