Campfire Tales

Campfire Tales: Augmenting Modern Oral Traditions Through Performance and Procedural Generation

Abstract—Performance is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, forms of human creative expression. It was used to develop language, social structures, remember historical events, as a tool for survival, and gave us a voice as storytellers. Compared to many millennia of development in practice and form for these traditions, modern artificial intelligence algorithms that allow computers to create stories of their own are still in their infancy. Yet their journey is shockingly similar. What would happen if we were to combine the two?

In this paper, we discuss the transformation of ancient oral traditions to modern western fireside stories, examine several examples of procedural storytelling in interactive media and games, and show how they informed the development of Campfire Tales, an immersive generative narrative experience shown at the Playful Experiences exhibition at Goldsmiths, University of London in September 2018.

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