Week 5: Locative Narrative & Actionbound

Having lots of history around my area, I wanted to create a Bound that would allow the ‘reader’ to discover historical locations in Brighton.

Upon testing my Bound, I knew immediately that I had not included enough directional information or context to the locations I was giving. All that was available to me, as the test reader, was a directional arrow followed by a request to take a picture of where the arrow had taken me to. Not suitable for someone new wanting to learn about the area. This was the key constraint that I found when testing my Bound, a semantic constraint (Ritchie, 2014: 55) caused by not giving enough meaning to the space I was asking the player to move through. As Ritchie notes: “The events of the story influence the audience’s understanding of different spaces in which the story takes place.” (2014: 65) By not giving enough information on events of both Brighton’s history or the events of the Bound (i.e where the next location was) the Bound itself became a meaningless trek through unfamiliar space, and lost the narrative that the Bound was intended to create.

Not the best weather for it!

In my Bound I included links to local websites (The Argus, Brighton Museums) which gave more detailed information about the locations featured in the Bound. I also added some ‘Quiz’ questions about the locations such as names and dates, meaning the reader must engage with the online links alongside the buildings to continue the Bound. The reader moves through both digital and physical spaces simultaneously to push the narrative forward. This links to Ritchie’s ‘narrative value threshold’: “digital media has more interactivity, so the audience has to put more effort in to continue the narrative and complete the ‘story’.” (2014: 57) Actionbound is the perfect example of a transmedia narrative that requires a higher narrative value threshold.

13 Victoria Street, the final location in my Bound

By using Actionbound in any given location, it changes the nature of the space we experience. Actionbound is made from code, and when that code carries the reader through space, giving it new meaning – for example, an ordinary house changes into a site of social and political importance – that relationship between code and space, between media space and public space, becomes blurred. That space the reader has visited will forever be changed now, because of the overlay of code that has become embodied into the space via our locative media technologies. As Berry notes: “What we understand as media networks and media domains are not to be imagined simply as counter-forums to regulated public space or prosthetic adjuncts to what occurs in cities; rather, they are part of the material and experiential formation of what now constitutes life in public spaces.” (2013: 1)

Above is the QR code for my Actionbound, or you can access it here.

Berry, C., Harbord, J. & Moore, R. 2013. ‘Introduction’ Public space, media space.Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan pp 1-15.

Ritchie, J. 2014. ‘The Affordances and Constraints of Mobile Locative Narratives’ in The Mobile Story: Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies ed. Farman, J. Abingdon, Routledge.

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