Stories are how people make sense of the world around them, and present their experiences to others, often with the side effect of influencing or informing the recipient. Stories are humble things, that go unnoticed in the fabric of daily life. Most meetings in the day are punctuated by anecdotes. These mostly or semi-factual accounts aren’t the stuff of legend and may be forgotten in a few hours. But storytelling is the most ancient art, predating cave paintings. Ancient man conveyed stories with theatrical gestures, cook-fire lighting, and simple language. Methods of crafting tales and legends have evolved, diversified and infiltrated every media, especially the internet. However, some traits of tales are still the same – stories always lean on a shared framework of communication – language especially, but often pictures.
Storytellers create the terms by which a narrative is conveyed. Often, to create the setting, a storyteller will put on a mask, physically or metaphorically. The internet makes this especially easy, as the medium of information transference is entirely impersonal. The entirety of the internet is story-sharing, from blogs and news sites, to games and tweets – every bit of information transferred from the mind of one human to another is the potential for storytelling. Storytelling can be a way to live vicariously, or share more deeply than possible as just a person. Stories can be fictional, told from a created character’s perspective, but stories can also be uncomfortably true, as the seeds of stories always grow from the loam of raw experience.
When I think digital storytelling, my mind immediately jumps to graphic novels like ReMind, and the Wormworld Saga. Though webcomics are far from the only medium of storytelling on the internet, its a kind with which I am familar and aspire to create.