I’ve mentioned this before, but after working a bit more in the IF piece, Book and Volume, it appears that we’re on the right track towards seeking drama through relationship rather than action alone if we are indeed seeking to enhance and expand new media to emulate the pull of narrative story.
In IF, while the interactive portion is based on dialogue between the player and the game by typing in text directives and receiving information–similar in some ways to instant messaging, the story itself is action. We must walk (or run) and complete some tasks to achieve a goal, with impediments placed in our path that must be overcome. Same thing with the majority of video gaming. There is none to very little relating to the "people" we meet along the way above discovering if they are there to help or to hinder the player in his goals. Storytron, may or may not be a different approach, in that the action is supposedly based on definitive action/reaction of the players.
I also can’t help thinking about the way that life imitates art in this new means of story. Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother (although this certainly is based more on relationships), and the new Treasure Hunt, are part of the phenomenon of "reality" TV, which has people scampering about collecting clues and competing to reach a final winning spot and maybe a million dollars. It is sort of contradictory to me to call them "reality" shows however, when in reality, most people just don’t do any of these things. The "reality" part is merely in replacing actors with non-actors who are not prescripted nor directed in the action. And drama is still based on action, near constant action. Unless they’re eating a bug of some sort, there is no interest in showing much dinner conversation.
There’s still a long way to go on entertainment via story. Movies and TV enhanced book format with audio/visuals, allowing the stories that held our attention to be brought to a different form and fill in the imagery by providing it. I think here that it is actually this complete form of control, beyond the book form that allowed us to picture the characters and settings with just a bit of help from the author, has had more to do with the intense interest in readerly story and interactive need than books themselves.
But the writing of these stories, the reading of them to include interactive use in new media methods such as Storytron, the tools and the end results, still have a long way to go.