How to Design for Exploration through Emergent Narratives

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This paper presents emergent narratives from theory on game design as a model for designing cultural heritage exhibitions and discusses how criteria of emergent narratives can support exploratory user behaviour. We propose that emergent narratives can be transferred to the design of interactive digital exhibitions, thereby removing constraints and allow for more personalized and potentially structure-breaking user experiences. Whereas exhibition design often either focuses on form or content, we propose that by designing for exploration through criteria of emergent narratives, a balance can be found between content and form that encourages explorative behaviour in the exhibition. This adds to the discourse of design principles for using principles from closed digital environments, such as games, in open physical spaces of exhibitions. This paper answers the research question of how theory of emergent narratives can be used to design for exploration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Creativity
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)234-244
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Design
  • exploration
  • exhibition
  • emergent
  • narratives

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