Who knows the first story ever told? How old could that story possibly be? Did storytelling exist before human beings even knew how to talk?
Naturally, those types of things are hard to find out, if not downright impossible. However, we can say for certain that the act of storytelling has been around a long time. Some would say since the beginning of our time and just as we have evolved over the years so has storytelling.
From its early beginnings with shadow puppets, the vocal tale of Beowulf, and the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press to the current storytelling prompts like screenplays, television shows, and now, even YouTube, storytelling has come a long way, and there is still so much to do.
Despite what everyone have been predicting about books during this generation of booming technology, the hard copy novels are still around. However, that doesn’t mean that stories aren’t being presented in a manner that reflects this generation. And, no, I’m not talking about e-books. I’m talking about video games. Create Your Own Adventure games, specifically.
Create Your Own Adventure games have been around for awhile, and Create Your Own Adventure stories have been around longer than that, so this isn’t entirely a new area. Yet, this is an aspect of storytelling and if storytelling as a whole is evolving, then so should its aspects.
Usually, when reading a book or being told a story, the reader or the listener doesn’t normally have much to say about what the story is about or how it is being told. That being said, that story might only attract a specific type of audience because the choices the characters made may not relate well to everyone. On the other hand, Create Your Own Adventure stories allow the readers, or the players, to make their own choices, each choice changing the overall story. This could be more appealing, not only because it allows more readers to take an interest in the story, but it also allows the readers to get involved with the story.
Originally, the Create Your Own Adventure genre was in book form, where at the end of each chapter, the reader has to make a choice. Whatever their decision is, it directs them to another preselected chapter, and it keeps going on and on until the book is over. Compared with other genres, it was an entirely new fad, particularly with children. Now this genre has evolved into video game form, in a platform where players can really get involved in the story. The big thing right now is the decisions.
You can see it in all the hit video games like Until Dawn, Life is Strange, and The Wolf Among Us, all of which involve a story which strongly relies on the player’s choices to continue, each choice leading the story into a different direction and different ending. This idea is even in an app, called Episode, where people can play and create their own stories involving choices that change the way the story turns out.
I love the idea of being involved in a story. Sometimes it feels so much better than reading or watching about someone else’s life. Simply making the choice for the character makes me feel like all of these different stories are about me, not anyone else. It’s a start, but I believe that’s the way to tell a story in the future: putting the reader into the story.
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