Interactive Storytelling

Barbara J. Feldman

Should a story be linear, starting at the beginning and ending at the end, or full of hyperlinks that take you in and out of the story line? Or perhaps the reader should be able to control the action, making decisions that affect the outcome. Or do you think the best stories are personalized, so that you play the main character? The Internet holds many possibilities for storytelling. Here are five examples of interactive storytelling, each choosing to use the medium differently.

  • Pirates5 stars

    "Ahoy! Have ye heard the secret of this ramshackle inn where ye'r lodgin'? They say it's full of booty but nobody's been able to find it." Join this interactive adventure (customized with your very own pirate name), and while looking for the loot, you'll unearth tales of real pirates. When your adventure is finished, click on Books for Buccaneers (from the main menu) for elementary and young adult reading lists.

  • Racoons from Mars3 stars

    "War is a horrible thing. But the war with the Raccoons from Mars was the most horrible of all. Mostly because no one is quite sure what really happened ... or if it happened." This illustrated science-fiction fantasy for middle-schoolers is not linear, but full of hyperlinks that lead you to meander through the story line. Yes, it's convoluted, but that's part of its charm.

  • Secrets at Sea5 stars

    "Dive into Ace on the Case: Secrets@Sea and see if you can solve the mystery." In this educational adventure story for grades four through seven, the reader steps into the "starring role of Ace, assistant investigator to Paula Pacific, who is assigned to examine unusual behaviors noticed in killer whale populations in the Alanamorris Strait.role of Ace." As you pass through the story, you'll complete a number of ocean-related activities, which will lead you to the solution.

  • Wacky Web Tales4 stars

    Remember these? To complete each Wacky Web Tale, fill in the blanks as requested (a noun, an adjective, a boy's name, a verb ending in -ing.) In addition to tales created by the publisher Houghton Mifflin, there is also a ninety-day archive of tales written by readers like you. To submit your own tale, follow the Submit Tale link (look in the left hand margin), but be sure to read the Tips for Writing a Wacky Tale first. It includes help with parts of speech, as well as useful tips such as "Try not put to the word �a' before a blank that you want the reader to fill in with a singular noun because someone might enter a noun that begins with a vowel."

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Interactive Storytelling." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 1 Dec. 1999. Web. 22 Aug. 2014. < >.

  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published December 1, 1999. Last modified December 1, 1999.

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