The Storytelling Machine: a playful participatory automated system featuring crowd-sourced story content

Betty Sargeant, Justin Dwyer, Florian 'Floyd' Mueller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers a design rationale from a playful, participatory installation called “The Storytelling Machine”. The Storytelling Machine curated and delivered a collective story that was generated from crowd-sourced content. The machine transformed an audience member’s drawing into an animated character that roamed a series of video worlds. These animated characters were projected onto surfaces in an exhibition space. The machine randomly displayed audiences' drawings and story texts, generating real-time graphics. This project involved a series of intercontinental public exhibitions and an extensive series of public workshops that spanned a three-year time frame. In this paper, we detail the design of the Storytelling Machine. Our contribution is an innovative, novel design that involves audiences in participatory activities in order to create a real-time collective digital story. This design may benefit game designers and researchers interested in engaging audiences through the design of participatory, digital story systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play Companion Extended Abstracts
EditorsZachary O. O. Toups, Peta Wyeth
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359689
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play 2018 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 28 Oct 201831 Oct 2018
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play 2018
Abbreviated titleCHI PLAY 2018
Internet address


  • Automation
  • Media Art
  • Participatory Art
  • Storytelling

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