Researchers from the Web and Internet Science group have been exploring hypertexts and computational narrative for nearly two decades. In this seminar we present our most recent work on the Leverhulme Trust funded project StoryPlaces (http://storyplaces.soton.ac.uk/) where we have investigated the poetics and technology associated with location aware narratives. Location Aware Narratives are a type of Strange Hypertext (hypertexts that go beyond traditional node-link models) because location aware stories reflects the physical context of the reader - examples include tour guides where the reader is required to be in a particular location to access certain pages, interactive fiction where location is used to set the tone or backdrop to the drama, or dynamic narrative that changes or responds to the user’s wanderings. The StoryPlaces system is driven by a Sculptural Hypertext engine which models narrative as a state machine and delivers a mobile storytelling experience through a location aware web application.
StoryPlaces is based on a general model for location aware narrative called "Canyons, Deltas, Plains" that we have shown to support the structures used in a broad sample of location aware storytelling systems. By working with both student and professional writers we have expanded our knowledge of the common patterns and structures used by authors in location aware narrative, and have begun to see how the structures of the narrative and the topology of the locations involved are intrinsically connected, and that the 'poetics of space' are a fundamental part of this medium. As part of the seminar we will demonstrate the StoryPlaces reader, and show how these patterns have begun to inform the design of our authorship tools.
Dr David Millard is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, he was a founding member of the Web and Internet Science (WAIS) research group, and is currently the Vice-Chair of SIGWEB, the ACM Special Interest Group for Hypertext and the Web. David has been lucky enough to be involved in Hypertext and Web research for nearly twenty years, he is the Principle Investigator for StoryPlaces, and his current research interests are based around social media and digital narratives, especially location aware narrative systems.
Dr Charlie Hargood is a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University in the department of Creative Technology. Before this Charlie was the lead researcher on StoryPlaces and completed his PhD within WAIS on semiotics for thematic models in narrative systems. Charlie has subsequently contributed to a range of hypertext, ubiquitous computing, and narrative systems research projects. He is particularly interested in machine readable models of narrative and is currently exploring how sculptural hypertext could be applied to non-linear narratives within digital games.