Digital Storytelling​

# Storytelling​ #

storytelling 2.0

A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the internet people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter and faster than most Tourism systems.

Is not the intention of this site go deeper into the academic world and discuss what others have already described in a very extensive way (see for e.g. digital story telling).

When we talk about storytelling, we add our contribution from another perspective, the bricks and mortar concept so that we talk to teachers and we see what problems they face before we publish our concepts and conclusions. Storytelling is a very old concept it is an oral tradition that is nowadays conducted through web 2.0 tools. The stories have multiple components: audio, video, photos, texts, links and web pages

However the most exciting innovation is that the story can go viral and be adapted and modified in real time by gamers. The branching concept is easier to implement and more attractive for gamers than a flat linear story.

Bear in mind that the players do not learn any more in a linear way and moreover with our method they are multitasking so they can perform various tasks at the same time. Want to know more? watch this video:

These stories are stock market conversations players share valuable information/knowledge and it is very intense. As the clue train manifesto states markets are getting smarter.

The question we have to ask ourselves is why don’t we adapt our VET educational systems to this trend?

People learn in a non-linear way and use the Internet and their friends to filter information.

To succeed we need to understand how teachers can integrate into the Hero’s journey, what they must teach, this must be embedded in the story, the game play and the mechanics of their game ideas. If not it is just another fun activity or game under the label of the so called “serious games.”.

Teachers are developing GAME from their perspective but we have to pay attention to students’ perspective and that includes their assertions, ideas, values and emotions. It also must include their communication modes (web 2.0 tools) and social organisation, their roles and puppet master.

# The hero has lost his car help him!
Here is an example of how a story can be amplified by this media and how players can get involved in the story that is being transformed into a quest using web 2.0 tools. The car could be anywhere out there in the whole wide world web, in the trailer it is shown how youths combine real time information, smartphones, and social network postings, tweets, pic and YouTube videos. They are a part of what is going on in real time. There is so much breaking news that there is no more breaking news at all! Information is created, distributed and consumed at the speed of light.

# The educational world has changed
The challenges teachers are facing are in writing a story for an interactive media without knowing very much about these media (video, audio, images) and web 2.0 tools. Students might have a kind of digital literacy, but literacy itself is another issue. Social Media and games when combined are a new Medium that require new rules

the story

The story must engage the player; therefore is highly emotional inside the story goes what the player has to learn and he must learn by facing challenges that drives the player to deliver what is requested.

Martin Seligman from the American Psychologist Association defined the PERMA. Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment, as being all that you need to embed in your game to make it successful.

The name should be changed from Teacher to possibly Coach or Show Runners. They must be Media producers supporting students who are learning in a non linear way and whose principal role is learning by mobilizing information. As the Ivetagr genre is a new kind of game Genre. Teachers should play in a different way, their mission is to provide the soil in which the seed made be planted and provide organic agriculture/education caring for growth/learning.

One key factor is the Mix Match between theory and practice, what teachers think the game should be and how it works in practice. Therefore it is very important that any game can be easily redesigned.

# Before you start to develop your game you should picture the “Pitch”!
The business model explained in the video may apply very well except for the fact that you don’t run for the money but aim to improve and change education. We have already provided you with some documents to fill in.
“A pitch” is a concise verbal (and sometimes visual) presentation of an idea for a film or TV series generally made by a screenwriter or director to a producer or studio executive in the hope of attracting development finance to pay for the writing of a screenplay.
Presenting the game idea and clearly targeting the audience (your students).
To illustrate the key points (learning and creative, content, social media tools) of the knowledge they need to develop and how this is going to happen.
To demonstrate the team’s professional and creative talent, something is changing at an educational level and you are part of it.

# Now watch a “Pitch” in a practical case in “it’s toasted”

# deep emotions can only come when the player identifies with the avatar and their problems

According to some authors “deep emotions can only come when the player identifies with the avatar and their problems”, so you need a good story and the key point is how to embed what you want to teach in a good story connected to the profile of your avatar/students, to engage them in deeper emotions. Think about how to trigger these emotions.

How long the story should be and how much content it should have:

Teachers must focus their lessons on developing the game story, in other words, embed their lessons in the story at the same time as they define the challenges, rules and show what could happen if the player fails in the challenge. How much content and how long the game goes on is based on what they want the student to learn.

Think in the Aristotelian concept of the drama,/Mise-en-scène, use the 3 steps:

  1. Set the Plot/drama
  2. Raise the tension
  3. Solve the case

In any TV series (e.g. House / Bones) they provide a cliffhanging moment and suddenly go to the adverts. When they return from the adverts they develop the Plot increasing the tension and you are holding your breath till they solve the case.

You have written a story for the game, the story can be lineal or branching (split into two directions and converging at a point later on). The story is the interactive part of the game, but you have to relate the story to the player, you do this by using Narrative and you decide how and when to do so. In the Sonic the Hedgehog Wii game one of the characters tells the story, that could be a hidden role of one the players in your game.

Your storytelling is what moves your game along; the player using the Interface (web 2.0 tools) and a part of your interactive story provides inputs through hyperlinks, watching videos/images and getting outputs (clues, missions, challenges). These are known as player events. What happens inside the game are game events, both the “player events and the game events” form the Core Mechanics.

# the threshold

When your hero is convincing and crosses the threshold he faces challenges and experience fearand gets involved in the 12 steps of hero’s journey.

Any narrative part is “non-interactive” so be careful not to make the player bored by just watching and listening, the Hero wants ACTION, challenge him, he wants the freedom to play the game to create his own experience. If they can figure out too son what the solution is they will not learn your lessons. Students reject the game when they see possible manipulation so your game will fail.

# narrate your story

To narrate your story  to the player you can use video, audio and other images held on web 2.0 tools and embedded in the story, connected to the game levels or challenges. Remember embed lessons into your story so that you teach.

Create blocks of Narrative on video ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes maximum, but as many as you need.

You can post in Twitter your story using the 140 characters playing live the game live or use Facebook to enable to comment on the story.

# organise

If you have done the test and you are left brain orientated then you will like to have tables to organise the whole game structure. I have provided you with these tables but in the case you don’t have them, here are the 4 tables.

  • Mission to build
  • Challenges table
  • Game checklist
  • Game level design

Let’s see some video games and how the story is told the player

# princess kidnapping
There is no voice relating anything just a phrase on the screen is the Princess’ birthday. There is a party and the Princess is kidnapped. Mario’s mission is to rescue her and for accomplish his mission he has to go through 8 worlds and defeat various monsters. Is always the same gameplay on each world. There is no more narrative than what you see in this clip. Music plays a mayor role drawing you in what is happening.

# use the force
This video shows a powerful narrative based on the Star Wars saga, the sound track plays a major role. The narrative show images of a boy trying to use the “Force” playing the role of Darth Vader. There is no text at all telling you what is going on you can’t even guess but at the end you get the message.

# mission impossible

Have you heard of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, not the Tom Cruise films, I mean the original TV show released in 1963. From 00:00 till 1:38 they set the scene, from 01:39 till 02:15 they give you visual clues to elaborate the story, so you see what is going to happen but you don’t know how and when. The hero knows where to go for more clues starting at 02:45, at 03:06 he finds the device and uses his secret code to unlock the story and the mission while listening he is highly motivated to accept the mission and cross the threshold. The plot development centres on him and his team. The extra emotional component of the story is that the character they have to save is both an ex-member of the team and a personal friend of the leader so you have two important reasons to accomplish the mission.

# sonic

After reading the Arabian Nights, Sonic falls asleep, only to be awoken by Shahra. She explains that Erazor is erasing the pages of the Arabian Nights and asks Sonic to help her, to which he agrees. He dons a ring that makes him Shahra’s master and grants him the ability to ask for any wishes within her power; he then enters the book.

When he accepts the ring and enters the book he crosses the threshold and is ready to face the challenges. Read complete story on wikipedia.

In this game the character, Shahra narrates the story to Sonic and she will continue disclosing elements of the story and providing more clues about the different challenges and levels in the worlds he has to journey through. The technique they use to tell the story to Sonic, in the Wii version, are images and Shahra’s voice developing a sort of interactive dialogue, you can listen to how she calls him into the adventure putting emphasis on her wording while she delivers the mission.

Sonic the Hedgehog, the series’ main character, is the game’s only player character. He is controlled exclusively with the Wii Remote (the interface device), You can use audio files or better still a podcast to deliver your story! The images can be hosted in flickr or anywhere else>

# prince of persia

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands’ plot centers on the unnamed Prince character as he asks a genie for a kingdom of his own. The genie instead leads him to a cursed kingdom, expecting that he can lift the curse, and offering him the kingdom if he does so. The player assumes the role of the Prince character, and receives aid in from the genie Zahra.

In Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, the player wields three powers: a “spirit hook”, serving as a wall grip to ascend areas where there are no ledges or grips; a whirlwind pillar to elevate the player; and a protective sphere to avoid falling or getting caught in traps. These three magical powers serve in navigation sequences, during combat, and to solve puzzles. In the game, the player must combine the three powers to prevail. read more on Wikipedia.

The really important point is again the hero. He has the support of a genie (Zahra) a pretty similar name to the one in Sonic (Shahra), so it’s clear that you as the teacher have to play the hidden role of the Genie. In this game the hero has 3 powers, so you can define the powers for your hero and use them individually or in combination with one another. The physical aspects of the game (running like mad, jumping and fighting) must be avoided because your game is not an action game and your player will play in the real world so there are real consequences to this actions. The dialogue with the genie that guides him is permanent, a strong support is provided to help him to achieve his goals. The hero crosses the threshold when he jumps from the building

# grand theft auto

Grand Theft Auto IV follows the story of Niko Bellic, a veteran of an unnamed war in Eastern Europe, who is haunted by the betrayal of his army unit. Ten years later, after a smuggling run that goes bad, Niko leaves Eastern Europeto escape the anger of his employer, Ray Bulgarin. Eventually, under persuasion from his cousin Roman, Niko comes to Liberty City, to pursue the American Dream as well as Florian Cravic, the man he believes to be the traitor. After his arrival, however, Niko quickly learns that Roman’s tales of riches and luxury were lies concealing his struggles with gambling debts and loansharks. This is a multiplayer game and it has more than one ended and many characters are involved. You follow the story which is complex and rich and based on the decisions you make as the game moves along. You can easily see that this game is closer to real life. The computer animation provides a realism that puts you into the game. The story is told by the characters interacting with each other and the scenarios and situations can be recognised in the real world e.g. Liberty city is New York city. The story, the clues, the challenges, are evolving as you play and you make decisions. I deliberately left few links so you can read about the characters/avatars and how their lives are constructed. You can use this technique in creating the profile on several networks such as Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and many others.

# the trumsn show

The Truman show was the first reality show and opened the way for many of the reality shows we see on TV today. The realities shows are no more than stories of passion, envy and the wish to win a reward. Each player has their own story and they interact with each other in a free way (we think) heavy competition looking for the 15 minutes of glory that Andy forecasted.

A final word on your story, if you can’t do it alone, involve your students or a group of them in playing the role of puppet master. The story must deliver food for thought. You decide how long the story is, when and how to use the narrative to give the hero his mission.

So you did it again you reached the end of this page so here is the reward, download some teachers stories games for children aged 8 to12 years old.


# The Hero #

The one who plays the role of the hero in your game is your student and his mission is to learn what you want teach him by facing a series of challenges to accomplish the learning goals.

Joseph Campbell explores the theory that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years all share a fundamental structure, which Campbell called the monomyth.

In a well-known quote from the introduction to The Hero with a Thousand Faces It says; “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man”.

The teaching concept based on a book is redundant there is so much information about any specific subject that you simply cannot ignore, your role is no longer to teach, your role is to be a mentor, to coach your hero.

→ Watch this video

The main point is you and your hero have to play the learning game with new skills and literacies you are not longer a consumer your are prosumer this involves new competences such as: judgement, negotiation, appropriation, play, transmedia navigation, simulation, cooperative intelligence, performance, distributed cognition, visualization and multitasking.

Thinking like a Media Producer or as Show Runner is the right choice for moving your hero through the 12 steps of the Hero’s Journey.

And these are the steps:

1.The Hero is uncomfortable in his ordinary world. I don’t think is too difficult to visualise as they are not so happy at school.

2.The call for adventure

It could be a very exciting idea to develop a game lesson for them and for their peers, so you call them for adventure making a game proposal and they visualise this new option because the actual one makes them unhappy.

3.The refusal of the call Fear

You may expect that not all of them are keen in doing something they associate to video games idea that requires computer programming, storytelling, graphics design, sound, music creation, in short it is a nice idea but too complicate to make it happen.

4.The Mentor encourages the hero The Hero overcome of the fear

And that is you, with the knowledge you posses from this project, you know you can make it happen, so just do it.

5.The Hero crosses the Threshold

There will be a moment of the true you go or not. in Matrix, Neo takes the pill, in the Prince of Persia he jumps, in Sonic he accepts the ring, so you must need to find something that triggers the game so the hero become to believe and the disbelief starts to happen, the Hero accepts the mission. He feels he is ready somehow.

6.The Hero enters on test phase; he wants to explore what a game design is and what he can learn, first draft to be produced.

7.The Hero approach

Now he understands what you have explained and the moment for testing and learning through a sort of rehearsal arrives. You have engaged them, now you have to pull the strings.

8.The hero faces fear by severe test

He thinks he got an idea and he delivers “a Pitch”, he knows it can be rejected so before becoming a real hero he is dead because his “pitch” is not good. Some students are too shy to make a live presentation and they may have lack of literacy how to present this kind “Pitch”, rehearsal and rehearsal is the solution.

9.The Hero’s reward if survives

A Good “Pitch” means having a good game idea, oh! That deserves a reward! Remember this not the game reward for the Hero’s journey, it is just a reward to encourage him to move ahead build their team and become a puppet master.

10.The road back

Now he has to collect himself and post the great news on Facebook or Twitter, he succeeded!! The “pitch”, has been chosen, hundred of ideas are floating around and he needs to order them because he starts to believe on his mission. By posting of Facebook and Twitter he gets instant feedback from their peer who help him to organize, filter and develop new ideas.


Despite he is happy he knows he has to face a bigger and deeper challenge than the 2 minutes “pitch”, and if the idea doesn’t match what he has to learn or mobilise, he can die/fail. Then your duty as Supreme Puppet Master is to save him and make the resurrection possible, don’t forget he is one of the chosen.

12.Return with the elixir

That the Hero’s results what he has to build whatever you said he has to learn or develop, in short is knowledge, something useful for the others that at the same time can be enriched by the peers and by you of course.

→ Watch this video

Here, in a few words are your learning goals.

Watch the video based on Matrix movie which is a lovely and clear example: The Hero’s Journey

# Some facts that affect your Hero

Companies hire people for their attitude and not only for their background so it is a good choice to combine possibilities explore their profile aptitudes and life attitude, bear that in mind when you develop your game.

Companies hire people for their attitude and not only for their background so it is a good choice to combine possibilities explore their profile aptitudes and life attitude, bear that in mind when you develop your game.

Companies hire people for their attitude and not only for their background so it is a good choice to combine possibilities explore their profile aptitudes and life attitude, bear that in mind when you develop your game.

Companies hire people for their attitude and not only for their background so it is a good choice to combine possibilities explore their profile aptitudes and life attitude, bear that in mind when you develop your game.

# The role of the Hero is affected by 3 elements

There is a temporary disbelief of the reality so the Hero is totally immersed in the game world because he has a mission to accomplish. Either is a single player or a multiplayer game they need rules to follow, to frame teh game and set ground rules.

Disbelief and game immersion are very important concepts.

ARG (Alternate Reality Game concept) is a must . Nowadays videogames are very realistic and they take the content of their plot from daily life. The ARG concept of blurring the reality putS them in doubt as to what is real and unreal what is true or false. It is a powerful component in a game because it makes them to explore, research, look for the right path and learn new literacies. The Game” is a clear example.

3G and WIFI networks are already there smartphones are becoming popular devices so most of the people is always ONLINE, the information reaches them anyplace anytime.

If we combine this with the tools of web 2.0 tools such as Facebook and Twitter you have powerful applications. Not many years ago GPS was an exotic device that most people had never heard about, today location based services are common. So more and more these applications are being combined, reinvented and implemented as an added value to attract consumers at the point that they are part of our daily life. The all-new Chevrolet Cruze. With real-time status updates. No matter how your game is designed one thing is clear that the hero has to learn/deliver he must be part of the story and complete his game mission. “Your goal” as puppet master is to make sure it happens.

Before going deeper in the game anatomy you have to define what your game is going to be about. Remember the “Pitch elevator”, any kind of genre even if very well defined are usually familiar. We can proudly say that IVETAGR is a new genre in itself because it includes innovative aspects that other games don’t. In any case you have to use the standard definitions to fix the idea of what kind of game you are designing. Don’t forget to define why it is so cool to play the game.

The second point is “single or multiplayer” it is your choice, maybe several “single players” can participate in a “multiplayer game” without noticing they are all playing the same game.

The third point is about competitive or co-operative gaming.

# The key 3 elements the ABC of your game

  • Storytelling no doubt is based on Transmedia – Convergence Media

  • Narrative (the non interactive part of the story)

  • Interactivity (the game world how the player see the world and it’s interface)

For the ABC approach to work properly with your hero and obtain disbelief and total immersion you need an Interface and as you know any game platform has one. Your game platform is the NET this is why I say transmedia storytelling (is a technique of telling stories across multiple platforms and formats) you not only have the possibility of using videos, audios, photos, texts. You can use phones and there are many other possibilities too.

The story is highly emotional and it drives the Hero towards an impossible mission full of challenges, tasks mobilising information, framed by rules (that is a must!) with clear and very well defined goals.