What is a mobile story?
A mobile story is type of narrative that is experienced on a mobile device – often a smartphone or tablet. Mobile stories tend to emphasize place, and that story-place is a mixture of the surroundings of the viewer’s world and the imaginary world the author has created for the story. That is, mobile stories often use augmented reality (AR). In contrast, both virtual reality (VR) narratives and traditional film and TV tend to erase the world of the viewer for the duration of the story. Mobile stories connect viewers with the narrative through physical location as well as through viewers’ thoughts, emotions, and memories.
Building on over four decades of e-literature
Mobile stories build on a tradition of computer-based literature–that is, literature that uses computation and electronics not only as a way to distribute stories (think pdfs and most e-books) but also as a way to tell the story. It’s been called electronic literature, e-literature, hypertext fiction, interactive fiction, and more. Video games are sometimes included within the family of electronic literature, especially games in which the player’s actions influence what happens in the story and how the story turns out. See the Electronic Literature Organization and their Collections to start exploring this rich history.
Are mobile stories fiction or non-fiction?
This site focuses on fictional stories and other creative writing delivered on a mobile device, including memoir, historical fiction, and poetry.
How are mobile stories different from digital stories?
What we know today as digital stories has two strong roots, one in personal narrative, and the other in journalism. At Storycenter (formerly the Center for Digital Storytelling), digital stories are personal narratives told by the person the story is about. They are multimedia, most often in the form of a linear video with an audio track. The viewer’s interaction with the story development and storytelling is limited to clicking play and pause. The stories are powerful and personal. More important at Storycenter, the act of telling digital stories is empowering. Explore Storycenter’s vast collection of stories created in homes and neighborhoods across the world. See the BBC’s Capture Wales project for more captivating examples.
In journalism, “digital story” refers to a non-fictional feature story composed by a journalist, sometimes via an in-depth interview with a person not normally deemed to be newsworthy. Digital story collections created by journalists often offer a portrait of a community through a collection of strories about individuals.
Journalism stole digital storytelling, and we’re stealing it back.
Mobile stories are now emerging as a form of digital storytelling that is exploring how the viewer’s surroundings can be integrated into imaginary story worlds.
Make a Mobile Story
Many different authoring tools are available for making mobile stories. See this page for ideas and how-to’s.
See this page for a sampling of mobile stories and how-tos on sharing your stories with others.