Theory and Practice of Non-linear and Interactive Narrative

A piece of very deteriorated black and white film.

A frame from Thomas Edison's 1896 film "Clark's Thread Mill." (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.)


MIT Course Number

21W.765J / 21L.489J / CMS.845

As Taught In

Spring 2003


Undergraduate / Graduate

Translated Versions


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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This class covers a range of topics including hypertext, interactive cinema, games, installation art, and soundscapes. It examines the potential for dynamic narrative in traditional media like novels and films and as well as in computer-based stories and games. The course focuses on the creation of electronic stories and games using simple authoring systems and multimedia software tools. Students present and constructively critique one another's work in progress in a workshop setting aimed at expanding the representational powers of a new creative medium.

Related Content

Edward Barrett. 21W.765J Theory and Practice of Non-linear and Interactive Narrative. Spring 2003. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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