Interactive storytelling at its best (so far)

Who is on the cutting edge of interactive storytelling?

For my money, it’s the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada. If you haven’t yet checked out their groundbreaking interactive features like Highrise / Out My Window, Welcome to Pine Point, or The Test Tube, you’re missing a glimpse at the future of storytelling on the web.

At least, I hope this is the future.

Although it’s already free to anyone, the NFB has licensed some of its interactive content to media outlets abroad. Media channels without their own productions are using this to see if quality interactive content resonates with users, or as one Highrise producer suggested, to “distinguish themselves in a cluttered digital space.”

What could this mean for communicating sustainability?

At their most primitive, interactive features provide an enticing way of navigating content –  going from one video to the next, for example. Others offer gimmicks – sometimes rather cute ones – to give us the illusion of a customized, personalized experience. The NFB features show us (again) that wrapping good content in an immersive interactive experience gives the message more power.

Take a look at Welcome to Pine Point or Out My Window and tell me that wouldn’t be a great way to tell the story of climate change or water scarcity?

NFB's High Rise - Out My Window

Still from Out My Window

Stills from Welcome to Pine Point (top right) and Out My Window (above) Copyright National Film Board of Canada, 2009-2010

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