This seems to be a strongly debated topic in the field of storytelling. There are traditionalists who continue the oral arts by telling and retelling tales and folk lore (with their own personal spin) in front of an audience – person to person – that comprise a large portion of the storytelling world. And then there are all the variations brought about by interest, taste and technology.
According to Wikipedia
“Digital Storytelling” is an emerging term, one that arises from a grassroots movement that uses new digital tools to help ordinary people tell their own ‘true stories’ in a compelling and emotionally engaging form. These stories usually take the form of a relatively short story (less than 8 minutes) and can involve interactivity.
The term can also be a broader journalistic reference to the variety of emergent new forms of digital narratives (web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, and narrative computer games).
As an emerging area of creative work, the definition of digital storytelling is still the subject of much debate.
The question seems to be, is Digital Storytelling a new art form or the interconnection of a series of art forms and how do you treat the traditional forms of narrative within the framework of a new world of education, entertainment and self-expression? This discussion is laid out in Digital Storytelling, Second Edition: A creator’s guide to interactive entertainment by Carolyn Handler Miller.
The Center for Digital Storytelling is an international not-for-profit community arts organization rooted in the craft of personal storytelling. They “assist youth and adults around the world in using media tools to share, record, and value stories from their lives, in ways that promote artistic expression, health and well being, and justice.”
They describe their approach to Digital Storytelling as having an emphasis on first-person narrative, meaningful workshop processes, and participatory production methods. They offer Digital Storytelling workshops for organizations and individuals and serve as a clearinghouse of information and resources about storytelling and new media.
Leslie Rule has a good list of resources on her Digital Storytelling Association website. She says “Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights.”
Why would you want to be a Digital Storyteller? If you like a challenge and want to use and explore 21st century communications skills, this is an exciting, fun and inspiring area for you.
Anything that gets people telling and listening to personal stories is fine with me. Here’s a link to some books on the subject and maybe some inspiration.