Virtual storyteller: reader takes charge of story
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Date posted: 20/06/2010
Posted by: Site Administration
This story is from the category
Augmenting Organics

It's a wonderful thing to be carried away in a story, but will you as the reader soon be able to determine how the story unfolds? With the Virtual Storyteller, developed by Ivo Swartjes at the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology of the University of Twente, the Netherlands, the reader will soon be able to take an active role. What he or she does determines how the story progresses. The key to making this possible is to devise intelligent software, so that the 'storyteller' is also prepared for unexpected situations.

The 'Virtual Storyteller', developed by Ivo Swartjes of the University of Twente, is a computer-controlled system that generates stories automatically. Soon it will be possible for you as a player to take on the role of a character and 'step inside' the story, which then unfolds on the basis of what you as a player do. In the gaming world there are already 'branching storylines' in which the gamer can influence the development of a story, but Swartjes' new system goes a step further. The world of the story is populated with various virtual figures, each with their own emotions, plans and goals. 'Rules' drawn up in advance determine the characters' behaviour, and the story comes about as the different characters interact. In developing the 'Virtual Storyteller', Swartjes began by investigating whether people enjoyed playing a part in this type of story, before going on to research the conditions and rules for the software.

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