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While pictures capture a scene and draw our attention, the use of audio in multimedia storytelling creates a visceral sensation that immerses users in the narrative. In the online interactive story Firestorm, The Guardian tells the personal story of the Holmes family and their encounter with a devastating bushfire in Tasmania. The package comprised of audio clips, video footage, interviews, and photos create an incredibly immersive interactive story.

The use of audio particularly stands out in this story because it creates atmosphere. In the first chapter, the sound bites capture the serenity of the wind brushing through the Tasmanian fields and the wildlife that lives there. As the chapter’s progress, and the bush fire grows, the audio continues to capture the impending destruction. Listening to emergency distress calls as helicopters soar through the skies and fire crackles in the background transports users into what feels like a warzone.

This audio is also a strength in this story because of its thoughtful implementation. Often, multimedia is used as supplemental materials to support long form narrative. Firestorm, is much more successful incorporating audio because each clip has a purpose and fits its own unique narrative arc. First, the listener encounters peaceful sounds only to be contrasted with sound bites that depict utter devastation. By the story’s completion, the use of natural sound bites reminds the user of the peace while providing a clear message that after a horrible natural disaster, life continues.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2016 at 10:48 am and is filed under AUDIO, PACKAGES. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.