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21W.765J / 21L.489J / CMS.845J Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice

21W.765J / 21L.489J / CMS.845J Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice

This course covers techniques of creating narratives that take advantage of the flexibility of form offered by the computer. The course studies the structural properties of book-based narratives that experiment with digression, multiple points of view, disruptions of time and of storyline. The class analyzes the structure and evaluates the literary qualities of computer-based narratives including hypertexts, adventure games, and classic artificial intelligence programs like Eliza. With this base, students use authoring systems to model a variety of narrative techniques and to create their own fictions. Knowledge of programming is helpful but not necessary.
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