Columbia University’s Digital Storytelling Lab has announced the 2022 Breakthroughs in Storytelling Awards.
Columbia’s Digital Storytelling Lab announced its “Digital Dozen” last week — its annual list of the most innovative examples of digitally enabled storytelling. Unlike other awards programs, this one has no categories, so what you saw was a typically eclectic mix of XR, immersive theater and interactive installations, this time with some NFTs thrown in as well. But the Breakthroughs in Storytelling Awards, as they’re officially known, always come with a few surprises, and this year was no exception.
2022 Breakthroughs in Storytelling Award Winners
Winner of the Breakthrough award. Life After BOB: The Chalice Study is the first episode in an anime miniseries built with the Unity videogame engine. In the story, neural engineer Dr. Wong has installed an experimental AI named BOB (“Bag of Beliefs”) into the nervous system of his 10-year-old daughter, Chalice. Designed to guide Chalice through the challenges of growing up in a volatile world, BOB confronts more and more of the conflicts in Chalice’s life on her behalf, while Chalice grows increasingly irrelevant and escapist. As Dr. Wong begins to favor the BOB side of his daughter, and as BOB threatens to do the job of living Chalice’s life better than she can, Chalice jealously wonders: What is left for her classic human self to do?
Special Jury Prize winner. AI and crypto fuse to create a barbed commentary on sex work and the metaverse in a dystopian future.
An augmented reality experience to honor Breonna Taylor, the Black Louisville medical worker who was killed by police officers in a botched drug raid.
A room-scale virtual reality experience that takes you through time and space to witness historical experiences of racial injustice in the United States.
A maze of mirrors draws parallels between the bronchial trees of humans and the trees that exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen in the world around us.
A live, mixed-reality play that explores the effects of Artifical Intelligence, environmental collapse, and interspeciality.
A hypertext novel that uses articles in an online encyclopedia to tell a story of intrigue and assassination amid a near-future pandemic.
When Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted after lying dormant for 800 years, Jónsi conjured up its enormous force through sound, scent and sculpture.
A series of boundary-pushing videos for Instagram Stories on the theme of “belonging”
A circular climate system - a biotope - that addresses such questions as, How can we make it rain in the desert?
In a one-on-one online experience, you meet with someone who wants to determine if you have what it takes to join the shadowy TM movement.
Britain’s beloved claymation characters have started a new business; your job, as their employee, will be to help fix up their home town. Good luck! Available on iOS and Android devices in the UK, the US and Canada, the free app creates a narrative-driven experience that spans several different media, including AR gameplay, CG animations, in-character phone calls, extended reality (XR) portals and comic strips.