Local libraries offer interactive digital novel

Inanimate Alice uses virtual reality systems

Fraser Valley Regional Library offers Inanimate Alice, an interactive digital novel, using its virtual reality systems.

Fraser Valley Regional Library offers Inanimate Alice, an interactive digital novel, using its virtual reality systems.

Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) is now set to use its virtual reality (VR) systems to take literacy immersion to a whole new level.

The library has partnered with Nanaimo-based digital storytelling company BradField Narrative Designs to offer youth library programs in the fall. The programs feature the ongoing Inanimate Alice saga, an interactive digital novel, told in episodes, that includes the Perpetual Nomads virtual reality experience.

FVRL introduced the VR systems last fall as an expansion of its Playground. Since its launch, hundreds of customers have put on a HTC VIVE headset and let the real world wash away.

“FVRL has positioned itself to become a library leader by offering engaging STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) related learning through its Playground,” says Scott Hargrove, FVRL CEO.

“Partnering with BradField Narrative Designs allows us to bridge literacy with technology in a way few have ever experienced.”

Inanimate Alice marries text with sound, dynamic imagery and gaming elements to create an ongoing experiential story that invites readers to take part in the world of Alice Field, a girl with a globe-trotting family.

The stories are laced with themes that resonate with many of today’s youth, including striving to stay positive in the face of global upheaval and geographic displacement.

“The project represents a new genre in literature,” says Ian Harper, series producer. “Inanimate Alice offers an innovative approach to 21st century learning and literacies. We are excited to work with FVRL and bring this transmedia storytelling experience to local youth.”

Local FVRL branches include Clearbrook Library, Abbotsford Community Library and Mt. Lehman Library in Abbotsford, and the Mission Library.