Storytelling has been around since the dawn of language. It is a way to entertain, to communicate, and to enlighten. Stories form the basis of culture, the heart of religion, the foundation of shared identity.
In our modern era, technology has also become an important aspect of communication. Each new technological advance has changed the way we socialize - from the telephone, to the instant message, to the webcam chatroom where you can now see who you are talking to regardless of distance. One of the new wave of communication platforms is Ventrilo, a chat client which supports voice chat.
The implications of this for online communication are tremendous. Not only can people talk to each other without worrying about their spelling or punctuation, they can also convey non-verbal messages. Recently, an internet company tried to popularize a "sarcasm" symbol so that people in chat rooms will easily know who's not being serious. With Ventrilo, tone of voice is enough.
Because of Ventrilo, MMORPG events related to speech or communication are much easier to run, and more accessible to those who attend. We have taken advantage of this for our new Storytelling Contest (being held for the first time Monday April 5th at 5:00 p.m. PST.) Instead of having to read as fast as people type, players can just sit back, relax, and enjoy listening to the performers. For those who do not have microphones on their computers, Ventrilo can simultaneously support text and voice chat.
It remains to be seen how popular voice chat will become, and whether it will completely replace the older text-based model. One thing's for sure: sarcasm just got a whole lot easier.
To join the Dragon Oath Storytelling Contest, click here.
- Lucy Song