The concept of the 'choose your own adventure' storyline – first born out in 1980’s fantasy fiction, such as Steve Jackson’s The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – has been making a bit of a comeback recently. Numerous webisode series have opted to let users tailor the storyline by letting them chose the path the protagonists take in the ongoing video narrative.
The publishing sector has attempted to bring the two worlds together, combining video and augmented reality extracts into novels, delivering an experience that puts the reader at the heart of adventure. However, there is one such integrated example that could pave the way for a new type of consumer led narrative, and that is German mobile app StoryTude.
StoryTude enables uses location-based technology to deliver fictional narratives specific to a users location, thereby utilising the existing destination as the story’s backdrop. The “storytainment” style app is set to launch in April and will deliver content for cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and Cologne.
Location based technology offers something new to the publishing industry. The old page turner choices of the 'choose your own adventure' novel could now be replaced by the 'locate your own adventure' model – instead of turning to a new page number the reader must place themselves in a new location. By doing so the reader could effectively walk the same walk as the lead character in a story, putting them right at the heart of the action.
There is also scope here for strong experiential work based around the story, where the environments themselves play a key role in the unfolding of the narrative, bridging the gap between literature and theatre as well as fact and fiction.