Understanding Interactive Digital Narrative : Immersive Expressions for a Complex Time book cover
1st Edition

Understanding Interactive Digital Narrative
Immersive Expressions for a Complex Time

  • Available for pre-order on March 27, 2023. Item will ship after April 17, 2023
ISBN 9780367617585
April 17, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
240 Pages 33 Color & 10 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $8.99
was $44.95
USD $35.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This remarkably clearly written and timely critical evaluation of core issues in the study and application of interactive digital narrative (IDN) untangles the range of theories and arguments that have developed around IDN over the past three decades.

Looking back over the past thirty years of theorizing around interactivity, storytelling, and the digital across the fields of game design/game studies, media studies, and narratology, but also at interactive documentary and other emerging forms, this text offers important and insightful correctives to common misunderstandings that pervade the field. This book also changes the perspective on IDN by introducing a comprehensive conceptual framework influenced by cybernetics and cognitive narratology, addressing limitations of perspectives originally developed for legacy media forms. Applying its framework, the book analyzes successful works and lays out concrete design advice, providing instructors, students and practitioners with a more precise and specific understanding of IDN.

This will be essential reading for courses in interactive narrative, interactive storytelling and game writing as well as digital media more generally.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Characteristics and Challenges of Interactive Digital Narrative (IDN)?  2. Conceptual Challenges for IDNs – Assessing Narrative Nundamentalism and Narrative Indifference  3. SPP – A model and Analytical Framework for IDN  4. IDN Design  5. Where to Go from Here – Advocacy, Opportunities and Future Work

View More



Hartmut Koenitz is an Associate Professor at Södertörn University in Stockholm, a visiting researcher at the University of Amsterdam, and a visiting research fellow at Trinity College Dublin. He has published over 60 scholarly publications including the co-edited volume Interactive Digital Narrative – history, theory and practice (Routledge 2015). Koenitz is the president of ARDIN, the Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narratives (https://ardin.online). He is also the creator of the ASAPS authoring tool, which has been used to create more than 150 works and a visual artist, whose works have been shown in Atlanta, Paris, Istanbul, Seoul, Copenhagen and Porto.


Janet Murray Professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology, Director of the Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center:

In this comprehensive and synthetic survey of the diverse practices and evolving critical frameworks of Interactive Digital Narrative, Koenitz does a masterful job of establishing the social and cultural imperative for moving beyond legacy formats to capture the complexity of our moment with more richly interactive complex modes of digital storytelling. He also offers his own groundbreaking theoretical analysis of digital narrative, moving us past the structures of print-oriented narratology, cinema studies,  and game studies, with new vocabulary and design guidance that offer deeper understanding and exciting new expressive possibilities for this crucial genre of the 21st century. 


Mads Haahr (CEO Haunted Planet Studio and Associate Professor Trinity College Dublin):

Hartmut Koenitz has written an important and ambitious book. Not only does he take on the plethora of misunderstandings around interactive digital narratives and arrives at a way in which we can think and talk about them without getting bogged down in irrelevant ideas from other narrative forms, but he also presents a model for how we can go about designing interactive digital narratives that does justice to the medium and its unique characteristics. Koentiz’s passion for the topic is rivaled only by his deep understanding of it. This book is one of the biggest steps forward in the theory and design of interactive digital narratives in a long time and a milestone towards the maturation of this new way of telling stories.