One future for stories – DEVICE 6

Posted: May 30, 2014 in gaming, reading
Tags: , , , , , ,

If you want to see where the future of storytelling might lie then you should step away from the books and have a go at DEVICE 6.

Playing The Prisoner

DEVICE 6 is a mobile app game that combines textual storytelling with unusual design and problem solving. Extra Credits sold me on the joys of this game, so I’ll pop their video here so you can see why I was intrigued:

I agree with James from Extra Credits on the strange and engrossing nature of the app, which is part game, part short story, part work of visual art. It is a bit on the short side, but for only a few quid you’re getting several hours of entertainment – more than you’d get from a trip to the cinema and at less than half the price.

But the real reason to try this is to see what they’ve done. DEVICE 6 is a fascinating combination of different media. They mostly mix well together and actually interconnect rather than just sitting alongside each other. It’s an atmospheric story akin to the old The Prisoner TV show, and the unusual design adds to the disconcerting atmosphere.

The story side

So why should this interest people who read and write books?

Basically because it covers so many of the points China Miéville raised in the video I posted yesterday. It’s made up mostly of text, but it explores new ways of telling stories. By involving the audience it makes an interactive experience in which the audience becomes author of their fate. It’s a collaboration, not a lone ‘genius’ spitting out stories for a distant audience. It shows how we can do things differently.

This isn’t a perfect creation. There’s a pattern to the interaction between puzzles and text that starts to feel repetitive by the end, and though this means they cut the game short at the right point it does still feel short. But it’s a fascinating experiment, and if you’re interested in the possible futures made available by the e-reading revolution then I recommend giving it a go.

And in case you were in any doubt, here’s a song from the soundtrack, because this story really does use all media – Anna by Jonathan Eng:

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Comments
  1. […] recently raved about the unusual reading experience of the story/game DEVICE 6. One of the joys of that experience was the way in which the reader navigated the text. Sometimes […]

  2. […] also kinda ties in with some of the stuff Andy Knighton’s been talking about recently regarding the new approaches to stories that modern media offers. Twitter, Facebook, all these […]

  3. […] to be presented in whole new ways. Sometimes it’s bold experiments in multi-media like Device 6, sometimes it’s just drawing your gaze through a comic slightly differently like Comixology […]

  4. […] interactive in this age of digital media. Andy Knighton’s talked about this in more detail over here, so I won’t cover the same ground again. It’s definitely worth considering though as it […]

  5. […] also enjoyed the story/game combo of Device 6, which showed just what great things we can do with storytelling in the age of phone apps. Looking […]

  6. […] integration of game and story goes, it’s no Device 6. But it’s really cool to see a company playing with what they can do in already playful […]

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