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In my last two posts I wrote about applications that are located between games and digital storytelling: Dear Esther and StoryLines. Today’s post is about the Story Wheel iOS app, in which multiple players spin a virtual wheel.

There are several animated pictures on each wheel, and they are thematically related (the initial theme and the app itself are free; additional themes are 99 cents each).

So player 1 will see a random image and then is prompted to record a narrated voice-over, which should correspond to the animated image. After that, he/she passes the iOS device on to the next player, who continues the story in the same fashion, and so on until the story is finished and published. Of course this could also be played by only one player. The final result an animated, narrated digital story that can be published as an iBook or online. (You can find some online, public examples here).

The concept is not entirely new, but the mobile package is nice, easy, and results look great. Unfortunately you cannot use your own images, which would really make this much more versatile for language learning and teaching purposes. It is an interesting concept nonetheless and another example of the convergence of digital storytelling and gaming.


I’ll keep you posted about other such applications, whether they are mobile or computer-based. In the language learning center we started working on a narrative-based augmented reality gaming project using the ARIS engine, about which I briefly wrote a few weeks ago. More on that in the months ahead here at languagetechnologybootcamp.org.

Do you have any recommendations or examples of narrative-based games or gamified narrative software? Please share!

Link to the app: http://www.storywheelapp.com/

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