This essay will discuss how the internet and new media technologies are impacting on storytelling and narrative form, it will examine the theories and arguments of the new online digital storytelling communities, who claim that digital storytelling reverts to a form of traditional oral storytelling which is more engaging, interactive and personal than the traditional medium of the book. The essay will also examine how the Internet and the gaming industry in particular are changing the role of both author and reader.
The main impact of new media technologies on story and narrative is the fact that they offer more interactivity, mainly through hypertext and hypermedia. Hypertext can be defined as .
"Words, images and sounds linked by multiple paths in an open-ended perpetually unfinished form (Hypertext, 3) Words and images are not only a part of the "page" in front of you but can serve as a link to another page and so on and so forth." (Davidson, 2001).
Hypermedia refers to.
"Dynamic multimedia objects that have hyper textual aspects. As Landow and Delany note, hypermedia is a multimedia extension of hypertext that is more complex and interactive, integrating visual and auditory experiences as well as texts and links to give a more contextual synthesis of the information explored." (Davidson, 2001).
Both hypertext and hypermedia create a more active role for the reader as well as blurring the boundaries between reader and writer. .
" Readers are generally expected to play an active part in their experience, seeking out information, making connections, following up on ideas, making choices and decisions. The hypertext is seen as open, readerly form, not so much one text as a network of many potential texts, out of which readers construct their own, individual texts. Hypermedia place the reader in a more active role than traditional texts, which essentially means that hypermedia call into being a new, more active kind of reader.