Touching Stories

Touching Stories for the iPad looks like something between an interactive video and Alice for the iPad . The app consists of four short videos that call upon the viewer to interact with the iPad to change the course of the narrative.

Though the format looks as though it provides little more than the interactive cut scene, I’m excited to see new forms of interaction appearing in these types of works. In three of the four stories, the reader/viewer takes the role of the player in a God game, her extradiegetic actions affecting the characters and events within the story. Shaking the iPad, for example, results in an earthquake in the story world. In the fourth story, the player character begins tied up in the trunk of a car and must hit the screen to kick the door open and swipe the screen to untape her mouth. Even though the interactions are functionally the same, something about this last example not only feels more like the “press a to not die” interactive cut scene, but it also seems more awkward.

The answer here seems to lie in the player-character’s existence within the story world; we’re more likely to accept our role as a God character straddling the line between existing inside the story and out than to be forcefully planted within the story world.

Touching Stories is available from the App Store .

"Touching Stories" - iPad Demo + Behind The Scenes from Tool of North America on Vimeo.