A Historical Review of Immersive Storytelling Technologies: New Uses of AI, Data Science, qnd User Experience in Virtual Worlds

A Historical Review of Immersive Storytelling Technologies: New Uses of AI, Data Science, qnd User Experience in Virtual Worlds

Hector Puente Bienvenido, Borja Barinaga, Jorge Mora-Fernandez
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6985-6.ch027
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This chapter is focused on describing the history and the current relevance of user experience (UX) techniques that combine data science and AI in the research field of interactive and immersive storytelling, including virtual and augmented realities. It initially presents a brief history of interactive storytelling, video games, VR and AR, AI and data science, and the user experience (UX) techniques used in those areas. Later, the chapter describes the UX techniques in depth, using AI and data science that work best and are more useful for testing interactive media products, describing examples of its applications briefly. Finally, the chapter presents conclusions in relationship with utopias and dystopias regarding the future use of UX, AI, and data science in several areas such as edutainment, social media, media arts, and business, among others.
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Historical Review Of Interactive, Immersive And Transmedia Storytelling Ux

Automated and interactive narration is usually linked to video games. However, it is not entirely true that its origin is only in computer games. Many of the characteristics of these narrative systems can be found in board games and, significantly, in the birth of role-playing games, invented by Gary Gigax (1938–2008) and Dave Arneson (1947–2009). The game Dungeons & Dragons (1974) was revolutionary, for it changed the paradigm of the traditional game. What is more, it established the way to elaborate a free and interactive story, lived in the first person, and based on rules. With the popularization of video game consoles and personal computers, due to the cheapness of electronic components, many young engineers became interested in programming fantasy-themed worlds that were mainly influenced by the work of J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973). Another critical factor to emerge was connecting computers in networks, such as through Arpanet (whose development began in the 1970s with the NCP protocol, Network Control Program, before the current TCP / IP, Transference Control Protocol and Internet Protocol). It was William Crowther, one of the programmers involved in the development of Arpanet, who programmed the first fully interactive, text-based fantasy story: Colossal Cave Adventure (1976) (Figure 1) (Barinaga, 2010). In 1977, the interactive story was polished and expanded by Don Woods, one of the fathers of hacker culture, who, as a student, discovered Cave Adventure on a Stanford University computer.

Figure 1.

Left: Colossal Cave Adventure (1977) running on a PDP-11/34 and displayed on the VT100 console. Author: Autopilot. Right: a detail of a graph showing the structure of the world from the Colossal Cave Adventure Page (https://rickadams.org/adventure/index.html)


Key Terms in this Chapter

Game Engine: The core software for a game to properly run. It allows the design, creation, and operation of a videogame.

Game Design: Techniques and processes used to design the rules and contents of a videogame.

Heatmap: A graphical representation of data in the form of a map in which colors represent data values.

Game Design Document: Document with all the design information of a videogame. It´s the main document for designers, programmers, and artists in a videogame project.

Gameplay: The game experience that emerges from the interaction between the game design and the player.

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