storytelling as archaeology
At Online Northwest last Friday, Rachel Bridgewater and Anne-Marie Deitering presented "Lonelygirl and the Beast: Alternate Reality Games as immersive marketing, art, and information". They talked about Alternative Reality Games and one they ran which I participated in. Or played? Played.
In an alternative reality game, the puppetmasters leave evidence for the players to discover, and so, to construct a narrative. Anne-Marie and Rachel called this "storytelling as archaeology", and went on to say that people like to search, and that searching is one of the ways that people construct meaning.
It strikes me that the construction of meaning through searching, cross-referencing, and reading is what I loved about research in the library that led me to want to be a librarian. This was college.
I absolutely hated the part where I had to take all that meaning and put it into written words, because I had already learned and synthesized everything. In one way, my liberal arts education was all about forcing myself to swallow that pill.
When we talk about "constructing meaning", we are talking about learning. An old canard about learning styles leads us to believe that people learn either by seeing things, hearing things, or touching things.
Something is missing from this learning triangle, and at the very least, we lean by smelling, tasting and feeling things. More than that, people learn by searching for things, demonstrating, enacting or experiencing them, expressing them, and by thinking critically about them. This list is probably not exhaustive.
So all this is to say that I think that "storytelling as archaeology" is a kind of learning that libraries are well-suited to enable.
In virtual reference especially, how can we help people to enjoy searching?
What can we do to help people who don't?