- What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change overtime? Why?
When I started thinking of a topic for ZIP, I noticed that most of my favorite stories interacted with the reader. For example, some of my favorite stories included choose your own adventure books, video games, and board games. This led me to the question, how can a story effectively be developed into an interactive experience? I came up with this question so that I could create my own interactive storytelling experience. I decided to make a board game, which would serve as my interactive experience, because I own a lot of board games and I thought it would be cool to create my own game. But over the given project time, I changed my question to Why are stories more interesting when they are interactive experiences? I chose to adjust my question because I wanted my question to match my research. How can a story effectively be developed into an interactive experience? has a broad variety of answers and is a question that might not require as much thought and research. I could choose to list steps to turn a story into an interactive experience if I wanted to. I believe that my current inquiry question provides more depth, and is worded better than the first one.
- What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?
During this project, I achieved my main, skill-related goal: to practice taking the feedback I gained from Mr. Morris and my research and implementing it into my stories. I also expanded my planning skills, because when I created the board game, I had to plan before creating it. This applies to my success as a student because in the future, I will have to plan many things, and planning something like a complex board game will allow me to practice for that. Other skills that I expanded on during ZIP were second person and descriptive writing.
- What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.
I believe stories interest people more when they can interact with the reader. By giving the reader choices, this allows them to guide the story in the way they believe is correct. This is particularly effective because “people want the control. They want the freedom” to make correct decisions (Kevin Specey, 2013). It makes them feel helpful and powerful. As the reader chooses the path of the character, the story becomes more relatable and personal. You feel connected to the characters, because every decision reflects your beliefs and values. The more the characters execute your choices, the more you feel like you are the character. This also makes you “feel much more responsibility for what happens,” for both positive and negative outcomes of your choices (Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Michael Mateas, 2017). For example, the reader could feel proud for choosing to spend the character’s money on sponsoring a child in need, or the reader could feel devastated because they couldn’t save a character from their death. In both cases, this sparks emotion and interest in the reader. Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” By telling a good story, you bring out emotions in people and they remember the story more clearly. In conclusion, I learned that, by allowing the reader to have the freedom to make, it makes the story more interesting, meaningful, and connectable.
- In what ways does your final learning artifact demonstrate your learning / answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this.
I chose to create a board game as my final learning artifact. It demonstrates my learning related to my inquiry question, because it is an interactive experience that has many choices you can make, to get to multiple endings. For example, the game has events where characters make choices to survive. You can either rebuild your ship, be rescued, or die. Depending on your actions, you will reach one of the endings. You are responsible for the character and their actions.
Think critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore ideas within, between, and beyond texts
I thought critically, creatively, and reflectively to create my board game, which was my “idea beyond the text”. I thought creatively about a story idea that would go well with a board game. Next, I thought critically about the board game mechanics and rules. Finally, I reflected on my board game to look for any flaws.
Assess and refine texts to improve their clarity, effectiveness, and impact according to purpose, audience, and message
I originally wanted to create a rule book as my evidence for completing the competency, but I underestimated the amount of time I had to make the board game and I ran out of time. This competency still can be applied to my project, because I edited my story to improve its clarity, effectiveness, and impact, which matches what the competency states.
Exchange ideas and viewpoints to build shared understanding and extend thinking
I exchanged ideas and viewpoints by asking others for feedback. By analyzing that feedback and implement it in my board game, I extended my thinking and built a better understanding for the future. If I had published my board game, this feedback would have helped to make my board game clear and understandable.
- What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 25-50 response as to was important to your learning).
When beginning my primary research, the source I found the most helpful was Elizabeth Sim’s 7 Simple Ways to Make a Good Story Great (See the first link down below). I learned a lot about writing that will help me a lot in the future. For example, I learned about strategies to engage your audience, editors, and agents. An experienced writer wrote the article, so I believe it can be trusted.
I found three useful resources, which help me learn about my inquiry question. (They are listed down below). These articles talk about interactive storytelling, which resembles my inquiry question, but focuses on digitally stories. Even though the topic slightly differs, they still talk about the same values that answered my inquiry question.
- What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?
When I research, I learned about interactive storytelling. Interactive storytelling is quite like my inquiry question, because it focuses on telling stories through interactive experiences. The only difference is that interactive storytelling focuses on digital stories. Example of interactive storytelling include Firewatch and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. After looking at a few articles about interactive storytelling, I came up with the question, how does interactive storytelling differ from linear storytelling, and which one is more effective?
In my original plan, I wanted to write a rule-book for my board game, but I underestimated the amount of time and I decided not to write one due to lack of time. Another question I have, and could do for a future Zip project, is How do you write an effective and clear rule-book that is clear and understandable by all audiences?