Developing Interactive Locative Narratives for Mobile Technologies Within Arts Education

Developing Interactive Locative Narratives for Mobile Technologies Within Arts Education- Final Report.

Emma Whittaker, Plymouth University

Funded by Plymouth University HELP CETL Teaching Fellowship 2010 -11


Exploration of narrative is pertinent to many disciplines within the arts education, from media and performing arts to design and creative writing. Interactive Locative Narratives (ILNs) set stories in geographic locations, using the GPS capabilities of mobile technologies, QR tags or paper-based maps. The audience becomes a participant as their choices affect the narrative trajectory. This research considers the creative potentials and practical strategies for the development of ILNs, placed within the critical contexts of media, literary and dramatic theory and practice. It considers the relationships between a coherent narrative diegesis, interactivity, narrative form and the participant experience.

This report builds upon arts (Ryan 2001, 2006), computer science (Reid, 2005, 2011) and educational (Loveless, 2002, 2007) research. Drawing upon the case study of an undergraduate module it sets out guidelines and provides accompanying resources for ILN development with undergraduate art students. Emphasis is given to an experiential and collaborative approach to learning, situated within an iterative framework that places critical reflection at the centre of ILN production. A case is made for the use of sound as a powerful imaginary stimulus evoked by recorded voice and soundscapes experienced simultaneously with ambient sounds present in a physical location. A six-point model for the development of aural and graphical ILNs is put forward.

It is proposed that ILN Development can provide opportunities for students to create alternative forms of narrative for mobile and analogue technologies that can be placed within the critical contexts of their subject specialism.

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