ICIDS 2020 Workshop

Transformative Experience through Interactive Narratives

What is a transformative experience? How do we create meaningful interactive narratives designs? How do we evaluate their impact?

About the workshop

In this full-day workshop we enable participants to integrate the transformative perspective into the design and evaluation of interactive digital experiences (IDEs). In this workshop, participants will

(a) better understand the notion of a transformative experience,

(b) recognize the unique attributes of IDEs that can encourage transformative experiences, and

(c) design curriculum focused at leveraging IDEs to encourage transformative learning.

In case the workshop is to be run virtually, a Discord server will be set up as the main workshop communication channel. Discord provides text chat and video conferencing features, the option to form smaller discussion groups, as well as live streaming of interactive content. Irrespective of the workshop format, materials (e.g., evaluation tools) will be shared via Github.


Participants are introduced to the concept of transformation through a presentation and experiential exercises. Drawing from education research, media psychology, media communication, and human-computer interaction, we will discuss how interactive narratives can create unique transformative experiences that go beyond the experiences of non-interactive media.

Play and Talk

We look at transformation from a ludonarrative perspective and will discuss experiences such as Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Bury me, my love, Florence, Spec Ops: The Line and Adventures with Anxiety, as well as installations such as Permanent, Situation Rooms, and Angstfabriek (Factory of Fear). Participants will play digital examples and then discuss their design and impact.


Together we will discuss the effects of transformative experiences on the user’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how to evaluate these outcomes. Existing example studies will be used as a starting point coupled with a broader discussion on assessment and designs for conducting user experience tests (i.e, are users really experiencing transformative learning in the short and long term?)

Learning by doing. Prototyping a concept based on a "disorienting dilemma."


As part of our workshop, participants will consider their own “disorienting dilemmas” that they would like to explore. Here, participants will examine socially relevant topics they would tackle with an interactive narrative transformative experience, and discuss what such an experience would look like. This portion might include crafting basic design documents of novel games.

Call for Participation

“The right stories can open our hearts and change who we are” – according to Janet Murray, interactive narratives can reflect our contemporary conception of the world as multiple and enacting stories, which enables the exploration of multiple instances from different perspectives. This personal transformation is crucial for the success of commercial, artistic and serious applications alike.

The goal of the workshop is to explore the role of transformation in interactive narratives, and the tools at our disposal to design for and evaluate the impact of transformative experiences. The workshop will consist of four units, in which the participating experts will present, discuss, and build on their collective knowledge to create a better understanding of how interactive narratives can lead to transformation.

Position Papers

Participants are invited to submit a 4­-page position paper (Springer format). For industry submissions we accept slides. We solicit position papers on the following:

● Gaps in our understanding of the range and impact of transformative IDEs.

● Post-­mortems on narrative design and testing for transformative experiences.

● Techniques to evaluate transformative narrative experiences and their impact.

Participants are asked to submit their position papers via EasyChair by August 16, 2020. If accepted, at least one author must register for one or more days of the ICIDS 2020 conference.

Workshop papers