Emerging technologies have always greatly enhanced the impact of storytelling. When radio allowed us to hear voices, a new emotional depth was accessed. Later, film and television opened new possibilities to relay narratives visually. Currently, social media is enabling everyone make their daily lives into a story, transforming friend lists into built-in audiences.
Augmented reality is transforming so many aspects of daily and professional life. It only makes sense that enterprising developers have begun applying AR technologies in the service of not only creating, but letting others create, richer and deeper stories. The AR transformation of storytelling is impacting fiction and non-fiction alike, but we start this week with the former.
Authors are working with storyboard artists and developers to push boundaries of reading, turning readers into participants as AR gives them power over the direction of stories. Skip Brittenham has written multiple books that, with the help of a tailor-made app, help readers get involved with the development of their characters as a story progresses.
If the idea of this kind of enhanced literature fills you with the desire to create your own augmented narratives, developers are making it possible to dabble in that as well! Startups and companies like Metaverse are releasing apps that allows people the chance to create their own AR-based choose-your-own-adventure stories based on readymade “components” in the software, and even real world-based media such as photographs, YouTube videos, or webpages. Moreover, the app includes a GPS feature that can turn stories into urgent time-based and unique location-specific adventures for entire groups of people.
As we can see, augmented reality alters the way we spin fiction in two ways. On the side of the audience, it gamifies literature in a way; readers involve themselves in the development of a character, an experience not previously afforded by physical books. With respect to the creation process, AR technologies allow anyone to be an author or a creator of a singular experience. When allowed the chance to play with these particular digital storymaking components, people have the chance to reverse-engineer a story. All of which may allow a new strand of fiction to be born. The point of Skip Brittenham’s books, as well as apps like the one by Metaverse, is to make it more fun to indulge in literature by bringing people closer to it. Creative and unique ideas perpetuate when people have fun, which is what makes AR-based fiction such a thrilling new field of entertainment.
Do you think augmented reality technologies enhance fictional works, or does it somehow take away from the imaginative aspects of reading? Sound off in the comments below!
Next week, the Displar blog brings you coverage of how augmented reality is finding its way into journalism. Stay tuned! And as always, thank you for reading.