Advanced Interactive Media/Other Topics/Awakening into the Interactive World
This is an amazing time in history as interactive media is opening hundreds and thousands of opportunities into every area of life. From the corporate world to the education system, there are new avenues and new ways of doing things available through this new medium. As people are being faced with this medium that was once unheard of, or at least out of reach and futuristic, there are many who may feel overwhelmed or don’t understand it. Hopefully through this article, others will be able to get some pointers and information that will help them begin their journey into the world of interactive media. As stated on the page “A definition for interactive media,” “Any format (print, web, disc, video, audio, etc.) that is created in a way that allows for user-interaction could be called interactive media.” Now that the definition for this media has been given, one might ask, “What’s the point?” Interactive media is a powerful tool because it involves people into an environment, experience, work tool, learning tool, etc. in a way that no other media can. In a sense, it is media and technology on steroids. It can pull a person in by making the experience feel extremely real.
As history has proven, times of crisis often produce some of the best advances in society. In some ways this could be part of the reason that interactive media exists. I believe that one of the first attempts to make movies interactive was in the 1950’s when the 3D glasses and Cinerama were introduced. This was a time that television owned the market and most people did not have a desire to watch movies. As a result, filmmakers introduced Cinerama, which involved a huge, wrap around screen that had 3 projectors feeding onto it. In many ways, this is no different from the Ai Classes college weekend recruiting project. Then, 3D films were introduced, which used 2 cameras images, color distortion, and cardboard cutout glasses to produce the feeling that the audience was physically in the place of the movie. (http://library.thinkquest.org) For a list of 3D movies that have been produced, go to http://www.3d.curtin.edu.au/3dmovies/ .
Now, interactive media has grown leaps and bounds into video games, sites like MySpace.com and Facebook.com, and emerging technologies such as the touch screen interface that Apple is in the process of producing, and virtual reality. Chris Crawford is one of the leading video game designers in today’s industry. On his site http://www.storytron.com he has an overview that describes exactly what it is that he does and why it is so amazing. “Have you ever wanted to try to jump right into a story and speak to the people in it? Have you thought about playing the protagonist, letting your feelings and imagination steer the story in new, creative directions?
If you have, then you’ve dreamt of interactive storytelling, and in that case, you’re not alone - from the Neverending Story to the Star Trek Holodeck, people have created countless depictions of interactive storytelling. It’s hard not to be attracted to it; an artistic medium which offers the rich emotional experience of a story, coupled with the empowerment of actually being the protagonist. We are proud to present the first successful implementation of this appealing idea: Storytronics.”
Hopefully you are starting to get a feel for the power of interactive media. It can pull an audience in like no other tool. Imagine if you could create a advertising device that people could not resist at least looking at. People could no longer turn away because it's too real; it’s too engaging. Now it's time to dive in and explore the interactive world for yourself. Here is a list of recommended places to visit and experience some of the world's most cutting edge interactive media.
 Music Table
 Minority Report Becomes Reality
http://www.davo.com/_248-588-9600_/Davo_3.html Interactive Vehicle Photography
http://arounder.com/ Take Virtual Reality Tours Around the World
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/ One of the Leading Video Game Creators
http://www.imax.com/ImaxWeb/welcome.do Interactive Movie Viewing
http://z360.com/ Cool video VR's