There’s an exhibition about a new form of reading known as digital storytelling, and a more annoying way of telling a story has yet to be invented. It’s not that the exhibition is bad, as they’ve done a good job of laying out a range of stories that need computer screens, but the very notion of digital storytelling grated with me.

Maybe this is a bad case of “old man doesn’t get it”, but I found the whole thing really quite frustrating. That’s mainly because the whole experience felt so incredibly slooooooow.

I mean, really slow. To the point of tapping around hoping there’s a button to tap that’ll speed things up a bit or just display the text at the speed I read at, not what the invisible hand of a software developer has decided.

A lot of the stories are not dissimilar to text-rich adventure games of my youth, and in the past, it was acceptable for the screens to take a while to load because of the constraints of the hardware. Many an hour was spent in excited anticipation as the door to The Hobbit loaded on the screen.

These modern adventure games though, introduce pointless irritating delays by trying to be clever with how they display text. It’s as if a load of Flash based website designers from 20 years ago were frozen in time with all their old ideas about how to design things have been brought out of storage to design these “digital storytelling” games.

The number of times I stood in front of the screen, growling that they could just get on with it. Maybe I am just old, but even as someone who prefers reading books on a Kindle, if that’s the future of storytelling, count me out.

The exhibition, Digital Storytelling is at the British Library until 15th October 2023.

Adults: £9 | Concessions/ Children(12-17): £4.50 | Children (<12): Free


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One comment
  1. Cliff Taylor says:

    Because most of the scholars /kids attending this event can’t read.

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