Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Interactive Storytelling Talk at a Local Sci-Fi Con

An unexpected opportunity presented itself when I was asked to speak at a local sci-fi convention, Can-Con.  A friend had referred me as a potential academic speaker who could talk about augmented reality. But, since my thesis topic had taken a turn toward nonlinear narrative and interactive storytelling, and because I figured this audience would enjoy this topic, that's what I ended up speaking about instead.

I focused on the big question of what it would take to create the holodeck in terms of storytelling.  My aim was to explore the creative and technical side to answer which area we needed a breakthrough in most.  My personal opinion is that we need a creative breakthrough first; there's a lot of technology out there that hasn't resulted in many particularly compelling stories. I think we need to figure out how to write for this medium in a mainstream kind of way before we can truly determine what needs to improve technology-wise.

I had a small but attentive and interactive audience, which made the talk not only a pleasure to give, but useful for me, too.  I got quite a few good ideas and references that will help me in my thesis work.  The conference seems pretty interesting in itself, so if you're interested in sci-fi, you should check out next year's edition!

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