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Art.CHI 2017

Interactive Media Works

A CHI2017 Exhibition

daddylabyrinth

Exploring the Possibilities of Interactive Nonfiction

Steven Wingate

daddylabyrinth embodies the "Crossings" theme of CHI 2015 in that it represents a crossing over from one type of non-fiction book to another. In monolinear nonfiction (whether in print or electronic form), the reader follows a predetermined course through a single story. In the digitally enabled book that is now emerging, the reader/ user navigates through a narrative environment in which multiple interlocking stories are possible, participating interactively in the shaping of the work. With hundreds of pages (many including video) and dozens of paths-within-paths, daddylabyrinth enables a co-creative literary experience that the monolinear nonfiction book cannot offer—and along with it, multiple opportunities for the reader/user to create meaning through the combination and collision of multiple narrative building blocks.

In presenting daddylabyrinth Wingate proposes that the next generation of the nonfiction book will emphasize polylinearity [1] and navigational readership in this way, focusing the audience's attention on the connections between narrative elements rather than on a single linear outcome. It presents one vision of what the nonfiction book may become during its "crossing over" into the digital, and its use of an authoring tool not principally intended for creative work indicates the possibilities that authoring tools represent in shaping the future of the book. The expanded nonfiction book will become a place one visits and re-experiences, rather than a pre-ordered set of sentences one simply starts and finishes reading.

[1] Rosenberg, Jim. "Navigating Nowhere/Hypertext Infraware" http://www.well.com/user/jer/NNHI.html

Images

The interactive web-based digital-native memoir, daddylabyrinth. The full work is available at www.daddylabyrinth.com under a Creative Commons license.

Authors

Steven Wingate
Department of English, South Dakota State University
Steven comes to interactive narrative from literature, film, and the experimental traditions of both. Because of this twin background Steven has always been invested in hybrid genre work, and his output leans heavily in this direction.