Digital Narrative, Documents and Interactive Public History
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To date, the implications and potential of interactive digital narrative have had a limited effect on history as an academic discipline. This project is an attempt to form a dialogue between the practice of historians and the rich scholarship on interactive narrative already undertaken by literary theorists, researchers of interactive systems, scholars of media studies, and practicing creative technologists. Probing the narrative devices common to the production of historical work, this VR project uses Maya, Unity, and a range of visual and aural historical sources from Republican-era China (1912–1949) to offer a digital demonstration of the possibilities of combining interactive digital narrative with long accepted materials and modes of historical production. Specifically, our project focuses on making accessible to a global audience the stories of several scientists and historical factories key to the rise of the renewable energy industry in China during the 1940s. In turn, we hope that we can offer participants in the interactive digital storytelling community a few thoughts on the potential of collaboration with historians via the avenue of “public history”.