Interactive media is any media product in which its audience can interact with. For example on TV, you can vote on shows like Strictly Come Dancing or Big Brother. A huge media platform common in POV format are video games, more specifically to POV would be first-person shooters like Call of Duty. Video game studio TellTale release games that are story based, yet give complete control to the player through decision making at every step of the way – all the way down to what the protagonist says in a conversation. Every decision will dictate the outcome of the story: meaning every player will have a different experience to another. It means the player will feel more involved with the game and the story; it puts the the player into the shoes of the protagonist and gives a sense of realism to the game.
New media differs to traditional media because information and interaction goes between both publisher and audience. Traditional media goes one way. Audiences used to only be able to experience films, television and radio. Now audiences can participate in online communities. Twitter now causes big impact on politics and media due to its massive use by an online audience. The masses can comment on global events and affairs; we can interact.
Interactive video is a type of film that hasn’t been delved into massively yet by the film industry. The metropolitan Police released a short film to raise awareness on knife crime. It allowed the audience to choose different paths and make decisions for the character from a POV perspective. There have been many interactive films uploaded to Youtube by amateur users. The interactivity is achieved through the buttons that you can apply when uploading a video that allow the audience to choose alternate story paths.
One note you could make to the interactivity is that the publisher will not be able to convey a specific message as definitively which means that the product will not have as strong affect on the audience, as the message will change from audience to audience because of the interactive aspect. An exception to this would be in the case of reality TV shows where audience participation is the basis of the shows.
Interactive media is used successfully with marketing and advertisement often. For example the company Philips issued a mini-game of sorts to promote their product. The audience chose different facial hair styles. When it comes to physical products, then choice is important for consumers, this obviously conveyed this aspect to consumers.
With interactive video, the alternate narrative paths is the reason why it hasn’t been picked up by the film industry yet. For example, the interactive video on YouTube “Take the Knife”, the first choice that is given to the audience is whether or not to take the knife. For educational purposes, this is effective as the audience is given a moral decision that they can then link to real life. However, from a filmmaker’s perspective, this would give weak story telling. This is because if the audience chooses not to take the knife, then the story wouldn’t progress in a direction that is entertaining, which is ultimately the goal for a filmmaker: to entertain the audience. A strong narrative will become iconic to an audience, which is important for the producers of said film.