Interactive entertainment, including novel forms of edutainment and serious games, promises to be a great and important market in the future. By providing access to social and human themes through stories, Interactive Digital Storytelling, which can take various forms, contains opportunities for massively enhancing the possibilities of interactive entertainment, computer games and digital applications. It also provides chances and challenges for redefining the experience of narrative through interactive simulations of computer-generated story worlds.
Interactive Digital Storytelling is a huge step forward in games and learning. This can be seen through its ability to enrich virtual characters with intelligent behaviour, to allow collaboration of humans and machines in the creative process, and to combine narrative knowledge and user activity in interactive artefacts. In order to create novel applications, in which users play a significant role together with digital characters and other autonomous elements, new concepts for Human-Computer Interaction have to be developed. Knowledge for interface design and technology has to be garnered and integrated. Interactive Digital Storytelling involves concepts from many aspects of Computer Science, above all from Artificial Intelligence, with topics such as narrative intelligence, automatic dialogue- and drama management, robotics and smart graphics. In order to process stories in real time, traditional storytelling needs to be formalized into computable models, by drawing from narratological studies, and by taking into account the characteristics of programming. Consequently, due to its technological complexity, it is currently hardly accessible for creators and end-users. There is a need for new authoring concepts and tools supporting the creation of dynamic story models, allowing for rich and meaningful interaction with the content. Finally, there is a need for theoretical foundations considering the integration of so far disjunctive approaches and cultures.
On the past 7 years, two European conference series have been addressing these problems, serving as annual meeting points for scientists, researchers and developers from diverse disciplines:
The year 2008 is an opportunity for consolidation: The organizers of both lines have decided to integrate them and constitute a joint international series of annual conferences, addressing all the topical research issues in conjunction with the themes of the previous conferences.
In the future, all information of the new conference series will be available at www.icids.org.
The first venue is the 1st Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling – “Interactive Storytelling '08”.
It is held in Erfurt, Germany, and is organized by the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences (FH Erfurt), supported by several partners from the 'Kindermedienland' Thuringia.