”Cultural anthropologist Gregory Bateson was asked in the 1950s if he believed that computer artificial intelligence was possible. He responded that he did not know, but that he believed when you would ask a computer a yes-or-no question and it responded with “that reminds me of a story” you would be close.” (Lambert, 2002:21)
As long as humans have existed on this earth we have used whatever medium we have had available to share our stories, from the gatherings around the bonfire to papyrus to the digital media of today. Without going into detail, I will state that storytelling is to be seen as the core of human activity and the creation of narratives always has been the most significant symbol of humans’ way of communicating, such as Bateson emphasized in the quote above (further readings; Aristotle’s Poetics, Roger Schank 1990). In other words, as humans we have a need to express ourselves, and we tend to do that through stories.
Nowadays the digital media facilitate a variety of modalities, through which anyone with the appropriate computer skills can tell his or her story. It is in this area that digital storytelling operates. Digital storytelling as a method and a movement gives people a voice through the use of computer tools (Lambert, 2002) or as one of the founders of the digital storytelling movement Daniel Meadows precisely express it:
“Digital Stories are short, personal, multimedia tales, told from the heart. Anyone can make them and publish them on screens anywhere.”(Meadows, 2001)
So Digital Storytelling is about sharing stores and build a better world… is that all, I keep wonder? My intuition tells me no. I have to found out, what it is good for?