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Interactivity in Design

  • What is interactivity to you? Does it add or detract to artmaking/storytelling - or when doesn't and when does it? How did the interactivity in Gone Home contribute to or change the effect of the story?

First, a list:

Experiences that I would consider interactive:

  • video games

  • responsive projects - like the CoSMo module I made in architecture school

  • the design prompts at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum using their stylus

  • choose-your-own-adventure games / films / books, etc.

Based on this list, I would think that interactivity stems with feedback. In most cases, that feedback is the product of input processing that creates an expected result. But are unexpected outcomes equally interactive if the user doesn't feel 'listened' to?


I think that the interactivity in Gone Home is essential to the story: the player has chosen to actively participate in this experience and becomes invested in the story of the family and the house. By looking for clues and playing the role of Katie, Sam's story becomes more personal and gives the player an intimate experience of discovering that their sister is queer.

In this week's reading, Chris Crawford references a Chinese saying: "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." I think this really explains why Gone Home is such a special game. There is a plethora of coming-out stories, film, and narratives, but until you embody a role as an active participant can you understand and empathize with others.

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