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Story and storage – narrative theory as a tool for creativity in augmented reality storytelling

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Digital domains render possible new forms of narrative creativity. This article explores to what extent it is practicable to inform the invention of new storytelling techniques in location-based media, such as augmented reality (AR). When carrying out research and development with explorative storytelling in indirect AR one often encounters a recurring problem. When digitally reconstructing and displaying sequences of historical events in situ, a paradox tends to emerge. While the linear sequence of actions and events might often benefit from in-depth information on historical contexts of various sorts, the moment the user embarks on a contextual digression to seek a better understanding, the sequence itself is abandoned and/or fragmented. This is a type of conflict where the designer must make difficult choices to provide a prolific story experience. How may we best combine and balance sequence and access, storytelling and in-depth exploration to the benefit of rich locative perceptions and adventures? In the following article we consult narrative theory to find a design and implement the solution in three different simulations of on-site historical events. These are selected from antiquity and the Second World War. We discuss the challenges and elucidations so far, as well as feedback from visitors testing the situated simulation AR applications on location.
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Keywords: AR; indirect augmented reality; narrative; sequence-access paradox; sitsim; situated simulation; storytelling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Oslo

Publication date: 01 June 2018

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  • Virtual Creativity (VCR) is an academic peer-reviewed journal focusing on creativity in online virtual worlds and other related platforms where the virtual is examined as a central theme in contemporary media art practices and applied contexts. Pieces exploring the subject of digital creativity are sought from the broad perspective of Art, Science and Technology, in what is a widespread field of discourse. One focus of the journal is an examination of creative activity in the metaverse - from art, design and architecture, to research and education, to play and entertainment. Additionally, Virtual Creativity seeks to engage with ways in which the virtual reflects upon the implications of the physical.
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