Every month, 55 million people play Minecraft. Discord boasts 130 million users. At any given time there are a million people watching Twitch streams. There are 1.8 billion gamers around the world.
These new formats are popular because they meet a deep psychological need: the basic human drive to interact with other people through stories. I call this new way of telling stories “decentralized storytelling.”
Decentralized storytelling only seems new — many of these techniques have a precedent in much older storytelling traditions. My thinking on this method for communicating through time is heavily informed by my native tradition (I am Seneca-Cayuga, Haudenosaunee, a “‘Native New Yorker” lol). My community has practiced decentralized storytelling for generations.
Unlike publishing, radio, film, and television, which broadcast from a single source to an audience of many, decentralized storytelling networks are peer-to-peer; they emerge from the collective space of audience participation.
Amelia Winger-Bearskin, What is Decentralized Storytelling?