How we Construct Meaning in Interactive Digital Narratives: a structurally coupled relation

Keywords: Interactive Digital Narratives; Construction of Meaning; Enaction; Structural Coupling; Sense-Making.


Computational systems, by being procedural and interactive, encompass new radical possibilities and augment and extend the way we tell stories. The Interactive Digital Narratives that are created with them are ontological machines that can be formally understood in terms of processes and representations that expose and mask selections of potential action and movement. These qualities change how they construct and establish meaning for readers. This paper will explore meaning-making in Interactive Digital Narratives through an interdisciplinary approach that combines the cognitive theory of enaction with the analysis of the narrative structure in Florence and Her Story. By identifying the different forms that the narrative can take based on the readers’ choices, we seek to comprehend how readers and systems become structurally coupled. We research how the emergent and continuous interactions developed during the reading of an Interactive Digital Narrative are closely intertwined with the readers’ sensory-motor experiences.  We shape narratives through how we perceive them, which is essential for sense-making and how we attend to the medium’s specificity.


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