Monday, March 14, 2005

Artifact Based Narrative

A co-worker of mine sent a link to this auction for a time machine over on ebay. At first I thought it was simply amusing until I read the details of what exactly came with the auction. This ins't just a tongue-and-cheek rewiring of a toaster, it includes a story of who created the time machine and what happened to the inventor. This is done through the inclusion of old photographs, letters, and other various items that are seemingly related to the time machine.

What the creator of this auction has done is create an entire narrative but rather than tell this story through printed or spoken words or even video, he has done it through artifact. The hunk of metal that was purchased for $647 is not what was was really bought, but the fiction that it reperesents. In this case, the artifacts are the medium.

An interesting side note, the same casino that bought the virgin mary grilled cheese sandwich bought the time machine.


At 4:04 PM, Blogger Clubberjack said...

This seems very related to videogames in that many games convey story through the environment, which could be thought of as a kind of artifact. I wonder what kind of work you'd get if designers/writers approached videogame characters as artifacts...

At 4:28 PM, Blogger OrangeDeca said...

The story element as an artifact is very similar to the concept of embedded narrative that Jesse Schell talks about in his essay about Story and Gameplay being the same thing. I can't seem to find a link to that paper. Do you have it CJ?

At 7:13 PM, Blogger OrangeDeca said...

TerraNova thinks this post is charming. That rocks! We're officially in the blogosphere now!


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