Sunday 26th October 2014


 

The Literary Platform Twitter Feed Tweet This

Dreaming Methods

James Hunt

website   

Features: Experimental Digital Literature

Production credits: One to One Development Trust

Dreaming Methods

One to One Development Trust

Dreaming Methods is a website established by the One to One development Trust to develop experimental digital literature – which, in practical terms, means it offers a platform for primarily Flash-based narratives which rely on interactivity and animation to tell their stories. The content includes everything from simple motion comics to more complex game-like narratives, with nonlinearity, simulation and fragmentation as recurrent themes.

The results are often intriguing, and it’s clear that genuine attempts have been made produce work that could only work digitally. The “3D digital poem” The Dead Tower by Andy Campbell and Mez Breeze combines English, program code and the interactive language of gaming to present something clever and original. Found Floppy turns you into a voyeur before you even realise, medium fusing inventively with message.

But there are a number of common problems that can too frequently hamstring the experiences on offer. The interaction design is often poor, and it’s too easy to end up stuck in a dead end. Sometimes it’s unclear whether a story has intentionally concluded or just broken. Some of this can be forgiven – it is, after all, experimental – but at no point should a hard refresh be the only choice left to a reader, and they certainly shouldn’t crash the browser as at least two stories did.

Some of the work is even so charmed by the idea of multimedia combinations that it seems to forget to ask whether it’s actually necessary, and the formalist restrictions end up reinforcing, rather than negating, one another. For example, it’s fairly certain that when Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph were creating “Flight Paths”, they weren’t hoping that finding the mute button would be foremost in the reader’s mind.

As you’d expect, then, the experiment yields mixed results. Some of this can be attributed to the age of the stories. The earliest are over a decade old, and technology and interactivity have rapidly moved on since. But it’s a worthwhile enterprise, and if the results are sometimes imperfect, then it’s only because it’s being produced on the edge of what’s possible.

Dreaming Methods

Tags:

 

Leave a Reply


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Showcase

  • The Literary Platform RSS feed The Literary Platform Facebook Fan Page The Literary Platform Twitter Feed The Literary Platform LinkedIn Profile The Literary Platform Google Plus account Contact The Literary Platform by email

Welcome!

The Literary Platform magazine covers current thinking about books and technology and innovative projects that blend the two. TLP Collective also works across both sectors to deliver interesting digital projects - visit www.tlpcollective.com

  • Read about the Literary Platform here »
  • Contact the Literary Platform here »

Join our mailing list for regular updates:


 

News

Storyjacker and Contentment win IC tomorrow contest

Storyjacker and Contentment are among four UK start-ups selected by Innovate UK’s digital programme, IC tomorrow, as winners of its more »

New Media Writing Prize 2014: Submissions Open

Submissions are now open for the 2014 The New Media Writing Prize. The prize, now in its fourth year, was set up by Jim Pope of Bournemouth University, to showcase exciting and inventive stories that integrate a variety of formats, platforms, and digital media.

Crowd-editing Publisher Invites Readers to Make Good Books Better

Advance Editions, launched 23 of this month is a bold new approach to both publishing and crowd-sourcing by drawing on the experience and knowledge of readers worldwide.