What is Interactive Media?
Interactive media is a method of communication in which you engage the user and interact with them in a way that non-interactive media do not. Films and TV shows are not generally considered interactive media; however, shows that require audience participation could be considered interactive. Shows where you have to vote for the participant to go through to the next round, such as Big Brother, for example.
Interactive media has saturated almost every aspect of our lives. Mobile apps, websites, games and social media have transformed the way we work, play, learn and interact with each other. With new technologies like virtual and augmented reality on the increase, interactive media is developing further into possibly changing our lives.
Some examples are video games and websites. Websites, especially social networking websites such as Facebook, provide the interactive use of text and graphics to its users, who interact with each other in various ways. These are texting/messaging, playing online games and sharing posts that may include video and photos. Video games are also one of the common examples of Interactive Media as the players make use of the controller to interactively respond to the actions and changes taking place on the game screen, which in turn reacts to the response of the players through the controller.
Interactive video games
A positive of playing interactive video games is that it can get people moving therefore becoming exercise, this can improve peoples health. Also, it can be said that it engages people and brings them together. This makes it a social activity, which is a good thing.
A downside is that staring at the screen for such a long time can cause damage to your eyes, the is a health risk. Also with interactive video games, people can become anti-social from it and spend all the time on it.
Social media is a good way of keeping in touch with friends who you don’t always see. You can have conversations with people who are on the other side of the world. Another pro would be that you can stay up to date with the news, as it will get posted on social media. This is a good thing as you can find out information about the rest of the world right when it happens.
Conversely, social media can take up all your time, you get addicted to it and spend all day on it and become anti-social. Also, sometimes you see things on social media that you don’t want to see they can be upsetting or even untrue – fake news.
How and why do people engage with interactive media
People interactive with interactive media because it is fun, its entertaining and addictive. It is also very easy to access, you can go on it anywhere and when you go on it you can be whoever you want be, you can set up an online image in peoples mind about you but in person you can be completely different. Interactive media gives you a sense of empowerment, this is nice as an ordinary person can experience the feeling of being in charge an example of being in charge is an interactive video. In an interactive video you decide where you go and what you do. To do this an options bar will pop up on the screen with multiple choices, all you have to do is click an option and it will happen in the video. This is exciting as most people will never have experienced a video like that before. This is why they use interactive media and why they will continue to use it for as long as they can.
Traditional media are are not internet based, like social media is. Types of traditional media include: newspapers, radio, television and magazines. These are media types that are published in a hard copy or televised.
New media is internet based, it can be communications, image and sound or on demand access via a digital device. Today you can go onto the internet and watch television programmes that were aired over a month ago. You can communicate with friends through social media. You can also access media that is traditional, for example you can read online magazines and listen to a digital radio.
How do they compare with each other?
The two types of media are very different, they themselves have not changed but the way we access them has. We used to buy them as hard copies and if they were on television, we would only be able to see them once, when originally broadcast. Now everything is done and brought online. You can catch up on television buy going on a website. Although the types of media have stayed the same, we will continue to access them differently.
Pros and cons of interactive videos
A positive of interactive video is that it can be very educational, for example, the RNLI and the police have both brought out interactive videos and water safety and city safety. In both videos, you get a decision that can get you into trouble, and the idea of the video is to do the right thing, if you make all the right decisions then you will complete the video.
Another positive can be that it can be used by companies for promotional use. This can promote your product and allow the buyer to see their product in a good way before they buy it, if you make the promotional interactive video well then it can make the buyer want to buy it more therefore increasing your sales, making you get more money.
A negative is that some you can get isolated by it and become unsocial, this can be bad for your health and can waste a lot of your time. Another negative thing is that if they are made badly then it can cause the viewer to lose interest which if the video is promoting something then it can make sales or views of the product go down, leaving the company with less money.
What technical problems should we consider when planning an interactive video?
One technical problem that you should consider is the fact that camera battery can die. To avoid this, make sure that batteries are fully charged and maybe you should have spares. Another technical problem you should consider is to bring more than one memory card for the camera so that if one gets full up you can put a new one in and carry on filming. To make sure this doesn’t happen, bring more than one memory card.
What narrative problems should we consider when planning an interactive video?
One narrative problem you should consider is that you have to consider how you write the narrative/script so that it is exciting and gripping for the viewer. It needs to be believable so that the viewer can imagine what it would be like to be one of the characters. If the script isn’t gripping, then not many people will watch the film that is made. The user needs to feel that they could have a similar experience in real life – it needs to be engaging.