Serious storytelling – a first definition and review
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© 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New YorkIn human culture, storytelling is a long-established tradition. The reasons people tell stories are manifold: to entertain, to transfer knowledge between generations, to maintain cultural heritage, or to warn others of dangers. With the emergence of the digitisation of media, many new possibilities to tell stories in serious and non-entertainment contexts emerged. A very simple example is the idea of serious gaming, as in, digital games without the primary purpose of entertainment. In this paper, we introduce the term serious storytelling as a new potential media genre – defining serious storytelling as storytelling with a purpose beyond entertainment. We also put forward a review of existing potential application areas, and develop a framework for serious storytelling. We foresee several application areas for this fundamental concept, including wellbeing and health, medicine, psychology, education, ethical problem solving, e-leadership and management, qualitative journalism, serious digital games, simulations and virtual training, user experience studies, and online communication.
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