Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Narrative as Situator

I'm reading Henry Jenkins' Tales of Manhattan and noticed, again, his emphasis on the importance of narrative in cultures to explain and situate themselves in space. I thought this might speak to our discussions on the immersive aspects of our respective GPS games.
"Spatial Stories. Cultures, Michel De Certeau tells us, construct stories to explain and justify their occupation of geographic spaces, to describe and record their collective journeys and migrations, and to map the boundaries between known and unknown territories. Telling a story is an act of clarification which bestows coherence on ambiguous or ambivalent relationships between people and places. "Every story is a travel story," De Certeau writes, and often, the stories themselves circulate beyond their original cultures, justifying one community to another" (p. 3).
Further on, he speaks of cinema's ability to shift scale -- starting with overviews of cities, for example, and zooms to the particular story being told. I'm wondering to what extent the editor would allow us to do this. I'm thinking of last Wednesday's Environmental Detective Game, where the girls playing kept losing site of the lake, and needed constant redirection (literally) from their parents.

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