DDJ: Let's talk about applications. Does Storytron lend itself to storytelling for other than entertainment purposes, like training?
CC: Oh yes. It'll be very useful for corporate training, military training, educational stuff. Basically, it's a social interaction simulator. In fact [it might be] better to think of it as a simulator, because the stories it generates are very different from conventional stories. They don't have plots.
DDJ: No plots?
CC: Because of the interactivity. What happens is that the player explores a dramatic universe. A storyworld.
DDJ: Is it useful to draw a parallel with dynamic spreadsheets? I'm thinking of the way you can run out different scenarios with a spreadsheet program, and how there are business or creative situations where people speak of exploring different narratives. Can interactive storytelling be used to play out different narratives?
CC: Oh yeah. You could easily do a salesmanship simulation where you get 10 different kinds of customers coming in and you try different sales pitches and you realize everybody has to be treated differently.
DDJ: What you're talking about is very different from computer games. It's a new paradigm. What is the scope of this? How big could it be, I guess I'm asking?
CC: Okay, candy is a tiny subset of food. And cartoons are a tiny subset of video, and comic books are a tiny subset of literature, and computer games are a tiny subset of what? That thing doesn't exist yet, but when it does, it's got to be, by analogy, much bigger than computer games. It will not wipe them out, but it will relegate them to a younger [demographic].
DDJ: Big, then.
CC: Interactive storytelling is going to be huge.