Introduction: The Evolution of Interactive Digital Narrative Theory

Hartmut Koenitz, Gabriele Ferri, Mads Haahr, Diğdem Sezen, Tonguç İbrahim Sezen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


This chapter examines how in the 1980s and early 1990s several scholars debated on the most adequate formal model, from Aristotle, to Propp, to African storytelling, as a template for digital narratives. Traditional African storytelling often adopts cyclical models and makes use of a different type of cause-effect relationships, with numerous crises and peaks and more than one climax. The chapter focuses on the ongoing discussion of the relationship and compatibility between the notions of narrativity and digital media. It presents Marie-Laure Ryan's proposal of narrativity as a cognitive construct, applicable indifferently to linear, interactive, verbal or other types of narrative artefacts. The chapter reviews the theoretical understanding of the concept of story, leading to broader boundaries for narrative and fiction. Attempts at programming algorithms that recombine sets of narrative functions date back to the early 1960s and, much later, with the advent of more advanced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, paved the way for contemporary story management software.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteractive Digital Narrative
Subtitle of host publicationHistory, Theory and Practice
EditorsHartmut Koenitz, Gabriele Ferri, Mads Haahr, Digdem Sezen, Tonguc Sezen
ISBN (Print)9781138575714
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2015


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