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>Inanimate Alice

>is back with a fourth chapter, and there’s a bit of a rabbit hole . . . . Any theories as to what exactly is going on here would be welcome.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Big Melly Mills says:

    >Thanks for sharing this, Roger. Digital storytelling is so cool!!!

    I wish my life story could be more like a movie, and less like a YA book in the form of a blog.

    –Big Melly

  2. ssathugabook says:

    >To see really exciting new multimedia literacy try out Inanimate Alice. And its a free online resource!
    More an interactive piece of fiction than a traditional game, Inanimate Alice: Episode 4 continues the story of the young game animator as she leaves her home in Russia and travels abroad. Inanimate Alice serves as both entertainment and a peek into the future of literature as a fusion of multimedia technologies. The haunting images and accompanying music and text weave a remarkably gripping tale that must be experienced to be believed.
    And better still for schools there is a piece of software now available that allows learners to create their own stories. Valuable for all forms of literacy and this is being sold as a perpetual site licence for schools at £99 !

  3. Monica Edinger says:

    >Well, I got the above comment too on my post about this so in answer to your question: marketing?

    Actually, really, I’m not sure. Sure seemed to be a lot less exposition in this episode. The earlier ones had all sorts of cool James Bondish stuff going on. Perhaps this is a setup for something more exciting? But can we sustain interest if we have to wait as long again for the next episode?

  4. Roger Sutton says:

    >It’s true, Monica, most of the time in the latest installment is taken up with negotiating a maze, which is really the only “interactive” thing about it–I don’t think clicking to the next “page” counts. I still like the atmosphere and music. What do you think of the classroom possibilities for the istori program?

  5. Monica Edinger says:

    >I agree that it is a lot of fun to go through; very elegant indeed. But just not as interesting and suspenseful as the previous episodes. I’m not terribly excited with as there are so many other great programs out there to do similar things. At least, on very short inspection, it didn’t seem particular novel to me, but I probably have to look at it more to be certain.

  6. Ian Harper says:

    >Hello Roger and Monica,

    The cool thing about is that it works with the materials from the series encouraging teachers and students to add to, challenge and otherwise mash up the content without changing the essential nature of the plot.

    An example of this is Hari’s Story – the first instalment (not an episode) of Inanimate Alice on (IA is created in Flash) and the first time you experience the story from a different point of view. Essentially very similar the story benefits from such a diversion. The plot thickens.

    We have produced two freely downloadable education packs that have attracted teachers from 24 countries so far…and the response has been nothing short of fantastic. There is a hunger for digital fiction. “We are talking to the kids in their own medium” teachers say.

    The second education pack develops lesson plans and ideas for the use of

    Another thing – we are providing a teachers only version of the episodes (episode 4 only presently) that has a skip intro and opens up all of the navigation icons at the beginning so that teachers can head for the segment they want to discuss in class without wading through the whole thing every time.

    Sorry that it takes so long to produce an episode. It’s incredibly complicated to make it appear seamless. And increasingly expensive. We’re hoping to accelerate the process.

    I hope this helps.

    Best wishes,

    Ian Harper

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