Welcome to the Adventure!
An Introduction to the Journal of Interactive Drama
The Journal of Interactive Drama (ISSN 1994-1250) is a fairly new journal and a new adventure.
It has grown out of a love of live roleplaying in all of its guises . . . freeforming, theatre-style stand-alone one-shots or episodic campaigns, live action roleplaying, multiforming, scenario-based learning, Mind's Eye Theatre, full-on live combat battles, the whole gamut and everything and anything in between.
The journal was founded in 2005 to be part of the pre-existing Interactive Dramas archive site by a group of gamers who live and work in academia who saw the need for a peer-reviewed forum in which to explore some very real possibilities for serious discussion about gaming of this type.
The three . . . Brian David Phillips, Scott Beattie, and Michael Cheng . . . have all used scenarios in the educational context. They have also all three written games for recreational use. The cross-over from gaming to academia to gaming again is a wonderful feedback loop that calls for further exploration. The journal comes from a desire for those involved with scenario-based learning taken to the level of freeforming and theatre-style LARPS to discuss their ideas on how to best use these games and how to formally discuss what we do. It also comes from a desire to share scenarios of all types with one another within a community of critical interactive dramatists, folks wishing to expoore the boundaries of the craft for all contexts be they educational, recreational, theoretical, or simply one-off entertainment.
The Interactive Dramas archive site was originally founded and maintained by Dr. Phillips and had been in existence for a number of years and the three felt it made a great deal of sense to attach the new journal to the site under the impetus of the Society of Interactive Drama.
Some of the impetus comes from the work of the journal's founder and original editor (Dr. Phillips) with the interactive drama archive hosted at this site as well as his own formal critical work as an Associate Professor in the English Department at National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan, and as a scholar. Dr. Phillips holds a doctorate (Ph.D.) degree in English/Comparative Literature from National Taiwan University with a dissertation in Interactive Drama: Critical Perspectives on Freeform Role Plays as Drama. He also holds both BA and MA degrees in Theatre/Communication so his critical bias is fairly obvious, a bias that informed the original foundation of this journal. However, as teachers of English as a Foreign Language, he has adapted many of these scenarios to an educational context different from traditional language roleplays and the like. The other founders of the journal have likewise had journies of both critical and educational play.
Once the work of setting up the journal was underway, Dr. Beattie took on the role of the first Editor while Dr. Phillips and Mr. Cheng joined the initial editorial board during the journal's formative period.
For more on the background to the journal's founding and the Interactive Dramas archive site, see the about page.
In short, we wish to be serious about our play and play with our work. Hopefully, others will find the questions we ask and the answers we experiment with worthwhile as well. The intention of the journal is to foster community among the very different folks involved with Scenario-Based Theatre-Style Interactive Drama Freeform Live Action Roleplaying Games of all types within a wide variety of contexts . . . there are no limits to how this experimental experience we play with will grow.
We wish to ask the basic questions about what makes good live action roleplays good and then how can we best replicate the results of experiences that work.
We wish to explore the very nature of the liver roleplaying game within its context as interactive drama, a hybrid form of audience and spectator and theatre and game.
The Journal of Interactive Drama is an online peer-reviewed journal on scenario-based interactive drama freeform live action roleplaying games which provides a forum for serious discussion of live roleplaying game theory, design, and practice. Two to three issues per volume are published annually. The journal provides a forum for the discussion of any of the various scenario-based theatre-style live action roleplaying games, freeforms, and interactive dramas and invites contributions in all areas of literature, theory, design, and practice for educational, entertainment, and recreational roleplay. Formal and informal essays, articles, papers, and critical reviews are also welcome . . . as are scenarios.
The sky is the limit, so let's reach for it together!
J I D
Journal of Interactive Drama