Interactive Media: An Introduction

Over the past few years the amount of interactive media available has increased exponentially. Video games were only the beginning. Then there were smart phones which began supporting a HUGE variety of applications. Now a myriad of other media areas are beginning to break into interactivity.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp recently released an iPad application which features daily interactive news content.
Interactive media is also being used in the education field. The educational book company scholastic has begun to post interactive story books on their website, such as these featuring Clifford, the big red dog.
Interactive media has also been made to persuade. In 2006 Susana Ruiz used Flash to create a game called Darfur is Dying to raise awareness about the situation in Sudan and even suggest ways for people to help. Play it. It’s hard for a reason…
Unfortunately, at present, American University offers very few courses in interactive media development and no formal program. But that’s ok. As numerous as the applications of interactivity in media are the number of ways one can learn how to create it. Flash, which has long been a standard for online animation, also sports a robust programming language which has been widely used to create games. In fact, all the games on the popular gaming site,, were made in Flash. But Flash, while undeniably cool, is merely the tip of the iceberg. For the last few years app development for the iPhone and Android mobile platforms has exploded. And, all the tools and training necessary to make these apps is all available for FREE.
Yes, you read that right. Free.
This series of Interactive Media blog posts will bring some of the free resources to you.
So why stay static? Get out there and interact. Tell your story, kill some zombies, promote peace or connect people. Who knows, you might be the next Mark Zuckerberg…
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