Utilizing Interactive Fiction and Fan Fiction In Creating A Proof Of Concept

This project will suggest instructional possibilities for the changing nature of text. As discussed through our forum conversations, hypertext has played a significant role in evolving print (Bolter, 2011a). Identified by Bolter (2011b), technology and culture has changed the way we write and communicate. This proof of concept will explore the use of different writing technologies, while exploring two literary genres.

Graham and Perin’s (2007) meta-analysis on writing forms the foundation for the structure and design of activities. Two writing targets with substantial effect sizes were identified for use in the creation of this project, they included; i) collaborative writing and ii) specific writing goals. The Keller’s (1999) ARCS model was also instrumental in informing design considerations with respect to learner motivation. In planning for this proof of concept, a blended learning environment will be utilized to support collaborative student work.

Interactive fiction and fan fiction are the two literary genres that will be used to achieve these student writing goals; interactive fiction solicits user input through the navigation of different textual pathways (Seegert, 2009), and fan fiction is original work that extends on popular media (Black, 2005). Interactive fiction relies on computer based hypertext, and it also uses print in a non-linear manner (Bolter, 2011c). Another dynamic is the manner in which fan fiction changes our traditional view of writing.

Studies of these literary genres indicate that they would both provide high suitability in meeting the needs for this project. Most importantly, they demonstrated a good aptitude for connecting with students in writing environments. In researching interactive fiction and fan fiction, it was discovered that there were a significant number of sites that already support this work from an educational perspective. This project is significant in the manner that it supports Multiliteracies (The New London Group, 1996), where students become creators; remixing popular work and forming their own extensions.

This proof of concept will utilize Google Sites and Docs to deliver content regarding instructions, activities, and to provide students with wiki and document space in which they will share research, contribute & edit writing, and as an organizational tool. Using these tools begins to challenge the notion that writing is a solipsistic operation (Ong, 2002). As students co-create text together, discourse can occur in real time over the direction of writing.

You are invited to access to this proof of concept at the following web address: https://sites.google.com/site/collaborativewritingspaces/  In addition, I welcome you to visit the teacher’s guide for this proof of concept which provides the research based rationale at: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxjb2xsYWJvcmF0aXZld3JpdGluZ3NwYWNlc3xneDoxZWRlYTU5NzY1OThiZGRk


Black, R. W. (2005). Access and Affiliation: The Literacy and Composition Practices of English: Language Learners in an Online Fanfiction Community. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49(2), 118–128. doi:10.1598/JAAL.49.2.4

Bolter, J. D. (2011a). Hypertext and the remediation of print. In Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print (2nd ed., pp. 27–46). New York, NY: Routledge.

Bolter, J. D. (2011b). Introduction. In Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print (2nd ed., pp. 1–13). New York, NY: Routledge.

Bolter, J. D. (2011c). Interactive fiction. In Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print (2nd ed., pp. 121–160). New York, NY: Routledge.

Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007). Writing next: Effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high schools. Carnegie Corporation report. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education., 13, 2008. Retrieved from http://www.all4ed.org/files/WritingNext.pdf

Keller, J. M. (1999). Using the ARCS Motivational Process in Computer‐Based Instruction and Distance Education. New directions for teaching and learning, 1999(78), 37–47. doi:10.1002/tl.7804

Ong, W. J. (2002). Writing restructures consciousness. In Orality and Literacy (2nd ed., pp. 77–114). New York, NY: Routledge.

Seegert, A. (2009). Doing there vs. being there: performing presence in interactive fiction. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, 1(1), 23–37.

The New London Group. (1996). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60–93.

About jmah

I've taught a wide variety of subjects at the middle/jr. high level. Most recently, I've specialized in the area of Industrial Technologies (Robotics, CAD/CAM-CNC, Electronics, etc.) I currently reside in Calgary, Alberta.
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4 Responses to Utilizing Interactive Fiction and Fan Fiction In Creating A Proof Of Concept

  1. mckay says:

    Interesting concept. My Project was on a specific text that was somewhat non-linear; but I love your idea of what essentially is a mashup of Fan Fiction and an interactive fiction.

    While initially brainstorming, I had a similar idea about using a wiki to facilitate the mass effort needed to compose a significantly large interactive fiction.

  2. jmah says:

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for your comments and for checking out my project. I’ll definitely be taking a look at yours once I finish this response.

    In creating this project, I was fascinated with how interactive fiction could be used in the classroom. I think it could be applied to almost any subject area.


  3. jmah says:

    Spurred by Scott’s post, I thought I would do a search on interactive fiction, fan fiction and hypertext and post the results here.

    Jennifer’s link on fandom and its connections to different media

    Arlene’s post on storytelling with Web 2.0 had the greatest connect to interactive fiction (other than Scott’s).

    Hypertext in general is developed through these posts:

    John’s examination of hypertext and its application

    Eric’s post on hypertext in the classroom

    Ken’s post on the manner in which hypertext has remediated print

    Alicia’s connections between hypertext and the classroom

    Tim’s post development of hypertext

    My apologies if I’ve missed someone from this list.


  4. jmah says:

    Hi everyone,

    Very timely. CBC’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers interviews Jen Sookfong Lee about fan fiction. Shelagh also speaks to Kim Izzo’s Jane Austen Marriage Manual (an example of fan fict).

    Listen to the podcast here:

    Dec 3, 2012


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