“Choose Your Own Adventure” Comes to Youtube

I fondly remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series of books from my childhood. While I remember loving the concept, I would literally stick my fingers between the pages as to simultaneously navigate multiple paths made by previous decisions. Years later, I tried to figure out why I could not let go of any particular path. I realized that it was not that I was afraid of failing because of a poor decision, it was that I might miss something of value, something meaningful, along the way. This has been something I have thought about for a very long time as choice, and living with choices that have been made, is an essential part of the human experience. For a better understanding of this concept, I highly recommend Barry Schwartz’s TED Talk “Paradox of Choice” (or the book by the same name.

Choose Your Own Adventures - Cave of Time

Anywho … these thoughts came to me when I discovered “Time Machine” today. This video is the first of a series by Chad, Matt, and Rob that brings the “Choose Your Own Adventures” concept to video format, and does so by making good use of Youtube’s annotation feature. This concept could inspire some very neat uses of digital storytelling with video. I know it will be only a matter of time before we see teachers and students bring this concept to life in the classroom.

So if you want to try it out, start here:

It is a very good thing I have multiple screens, I no longer have to use my fingers. :-)

  • Love this idea, can see great project’s from visual communication classes. Also provide students the opportunity to collaborate with other classes to expand on the story.

  • Brilliant — now the gears are turning. Thanks @acouros.

  • As mentioned this could be a great project for a Communications and Production Technology class or classes. Fun to follow through this adventure and very well done videos.

  • That was fun. I could see students doing this in math class. Choosing what kids could do wrong on a question and then having to choose what to do next

    That was fun. Thanks for finding it.

  • What a great spin on the “adventure” concept. I can see my middle school kids doing this for creative writing and drama; they’d have a blast!

    Thanks for sharing this real gem.

  • Brilliant! Here in the US, though, the end product could only be viewed at home. Most public schools block YouTube.

    Do any of the other video sharing services allow embedded links like this?

  • Alec

    Thanks all for commenting. I can’t wait to have some examples to share with my students. I will also check to see if any of my students in the Winter semester will want to take something like this on for a class project. Hmmmmm.

    @bernie: Good point re: Youtube being blocked. I don’t know of any other service that has those annotations built in like this. I think Youtube bought Omnisio earlier this year to get this type of functionality. Viddler does it (sort of) in the timeline, but this method wouldn’t be nearly as nice as on the screen.

    However, I think there is a possibility in using BubblePly. It is not a video hosting service, but it allows you to use video from many different services (there’s a long list) and it helps you create an overlay with linkable bubbles and multimedia. Of course, you would have to choose a video service that is not blocked, and ensure that BubblePly is not blocked either. I hope that helps.

    http://www.bubbleply.com/

  • Thanks Alec *:-) I disliked those because I started with “Rick Brant Electronic Adventures” which used more of a classic story progression and unlocked some passion in me. However, my kids loved the “choose your path” style. We are using a little bit of that (it costs money) in some of the courses we are working on for math.

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