IBM Systems Journal, vol. 39, issues 3-4, pg. 456 - 469.
This paper describes recent progress toward a framework and toolset for Very Distributed Storytelling. It focuses on three independent but interconnected axes of development: continuous story playout environments, story authoring systems, and scenarios for interaction, particularly those that operate in casual or formal architectural spaces. Aspects of these are explored in several systems currently under development at the Interactive Cinema Group of the MIT Media Laboratory. Agent Stories invites authors to develop story segments that know about their role in the story and agents that can use these role designations to orchestrate the playout of story parts. Happenstance, an ecologically based, context-sensitive "stage" for the performance of interactive narratives, provides an information landscape that is continuous in space and time, supports multiple viewpoints, and acts as a semi-porous membrane to information and messages from the outside world. The CINEMAT and other large-scale interactive media pieces-situated in sensor-rich architectural spaces-explore the relationships among immersion, interaction, narrative guidance, and public space.
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