Further Exploration of Interactive Documentary

In an attempt to gain further insight into the medium of interactive documentary, I participated in two (non-Korsakow created) IDocs.

The first was the stylishly produced Type:Rider by Arte Creative that I discovered on Submarine Channel. This game based IDoc educates the viewer on the history of typography. The user travels through the time periods of significance in typography development “starting with the classics from the early Gutenberg bible. Later levels feature newer fonts such as Helvetica (1957) running all the way up to screen fonts” (Byrne 2013).

The IDoc was well executed with its use of graphics, music and design for each level to reveal written information regarding the typography involved in that stage. The game begins with a simplistic tutorial that suited me much more than a written manual. I began to lose interest after a couple of levels as each new stage took a few minutes to download. This sounds as though my attention span was to blame, but I think it was more that the narrative became disjointed whilst waiting for the next stage to load. I think this IDoc is ideal for educational purposes. I also enjoyed the pun in the title.

Type:Rider Instructions

The tutorial in the beginning incorporated stylish graphics.

Type:Rider GameI was playing as the two black dots.

The second was a morbid French production Thanatorama by Ana Maria de Jésus with Upian that I found on the ‘interactive’ tab of Moments of Innovation. The narration begins by explaining to the user that they are the dead central character in the story. The eerie narrative guides the user through the processes involved in their funeral by providing them with questions that require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. This leads them down a unique narrative path.

The IDoc is narrated in French with English subtitles. The photographs that flick through as the events unfold depicted my chosen experience. The images reminded me of an even more glum, realistic and explicit episode of Six Feet Under. I participated in the embalming process which displayed graphic photographs of the process. I found this unique concept amusing and insightful, but also uncomfortable. Perhaps it was the photographs of the deceased lying on the morgue table that made me feel this way. I liked the function of being able to skip ahead to a different stage in the process such as visiting the funeral director. The production values were high and the graphics were also very well produced.

Coffin Factory

The coffin factory.


Morgue The morgue.

My experiences with these two documentaries has provided me with an understanding of the variation of concepts presented in IDocs as well as the large number of possibilities for presenting them. It will be useful to research Korsakow IDocs more exclusively as it is the software I will be using, but for now it is helpful to understand previously produced concepts created under the IDocs umbrella.

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