The term “digital storytelling” refers to the postmodern transformation of the traditional art of oral storytelling. Common individuals without a technical background are enabled to use recently developed digital media technology to tell their own personal experience stories. Digital stories or “digistories,” which can be shared electronically all over the world by means of the computer and the Internet, are composed of photographic images, a musical soundtrack, and a narrated story. In Korea, however, the concept of digital storytelling has been generally associated with interactive narrative computer games or non-linear narrative entertainment. In the first section of this essay, I argue that artistic “Korean” mode of digital storytelling could be developed in the direction of nonfiction, documentary, and autobiographical personal reflection narrative.
I examine distinctive features of digital stories outside the realm of narrative computer games in the second section. Seven main elements of a digital story developed by Joe Lambert are: point of view, a dramatic question, emotional content, the gift of your voice, the power of the soundtrack, economy, and pacing. The types of digital storytelling are: character stories, memorial stories, events stories, places stories, professions stories, recovery stories, love stories, and discovery stories. In addition, according to Bernajean Porter, there are six fundamental elements of a good digital story such as living in your story, unfolding lessons learning, developing creative tension, economizing the story told, showing not telling, and developing craftsmanship.
The third section concerns the ideas of visual literacy and narrative images. In this visual culture, we are supposed to improve our visual literacy that is the ability to find meanings in imagery. The visual narrative mode of thought, which needs narrative images, operates on the basis of intuition, metaphor, and imagination. Jean Fran ois Lyotard’s concept of little narratives (petits r cits), which can be defined as “a non-finite series of heterogeneous events of narration which resist incorporation into grand or meta-narratives by virtue of being discontinuous and fragmentary,” is applicable to our understanding of digital storytelling.