The Innovations of Digital Storytelling

The publishing industry is undergoing rapid changes that have revolutionised the way we think about storytelling. No longer confined to traditional pages, stories have the ability to be told in an endless variety of formats that can be shared globally with relatively little cost. Digital storytelling provides an audience with the opportunity to interact with a story using features such as image, audio, video, text, virtual reality, and social media elements. This type of media allows a storyteller to construct an immersive experience for an audience and provide a memorable and engaging experience. Additionally, the digital aspect allows a publisher to gain insights into the audience’s engagement with the story. Here are three of our favorite digital examples that completely changed the way we think about storytelling. 

  1. NBC News: GenerAsians of Speaking Out 

Recent years have shown a rapid rise in anti-Asian violence across many areas in the global west. In response to this, NBC News published a digital storyboard showcasing the stories of various Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their journey combatting racism and discrimination in their daily lives. The project is interactive, giving the audience the chance to click through a web of stories and photos from all ages and backgrounds.

  1. Netflix: Bandersnatch 

Netflix’s hit show, Blackmirror, surprised the world when they brought a completely immersive experience to viewers with the release of Bandersnatch in 2018. A merge between a movie and a videogame, Bandersnatch gives the viewer the chance to choose what path the main character takes. Each viewer’s experience of the show is entirely different based on the choices made, ultimately leading to various endings. The movie takes vastly different turns based on the input of the viewer, incentivising multiple watches of the movie in order to experience the variety of outcomes. 

  1. Imperial College London: Six Months on the Front Line

For most of us, it feels like the events surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic are permanently seared into our minds. However, Imperial College London has created an immersive timeline of the first six months of the pandemic that shine a light on the experiences of front line workers as they begin one of the greatest battles of their lives. The timeline is excruciatingly detailed, leaving no event out and pairing it with photos that transport the viewer back to the early pandemic days. The project demonstrates how far we’ve come in the fight against Covid while paying tribute to the lives we’ve lost and those who’ve stood on the front lines.