Traditionally, documentary has been presented as an objective portrayal of fact: the actualité. Recently, a new breed of ‘dramatic’ documentary that uses coercion; persuasion, and emotional manipulation has emerged to critical and commercial success. Contemporaneously, interactive entertainment has evolved to the point at which near-realism can be portrayed in real time. This, taken alongside the immersive interaction in which the industry specialises, and the dramatic techniques of engagement employed by the latest documentary films suggests that we may be at the brink of a new cultural form: the interactive documentary. In this paper we discuss the form that interactive documentary might take, and the historical and cultural context into which it fits. We conclude by detailing the issues raised by the concept of the interactive documentary, and how the role of documentary maker as auteur is reconciled with the notion of a truly interactive pathway through such a production.
Galloway, D., McAlpine, K. B., & Harris, P. (2007). From Michael Moore to JFK reloaded: towards a working model of interactive documentary. Journal of Media Practice, 8(3), 325-339. https://doi.org/10.1386/jmpr.8.3.325_1