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Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying real or fictitious events in words, images, and sounds. Stories have been shared in every culture and in every land as a means of entertainment, education, preservation of culture and to instill knowledge and values morals. Storytelling is often considered to be a crucial aspect of humanity. Human beings have a natural ability to use verbal communication to teach, explain, and entertain, which is why storytelling is so prevalent in everyday life. Traditional storytelling differs from multi-media storytelling, in that it is experienced, and forms within the mind of the audience. For example, a described dragon will be different for each audience member, while a visual representation will be more specific. Since traditional storytelling relies on the recipient's personal experience and imagination, it tends to be stronger in impact.

The earliest forms of storytelling were oral, combined with gesture and expression: words were spoken from one person to another in an effort to communicate a message or a feeling. Stories are also seen in the artwork scratched onto the walls of caves. With the invention of writing, stories were recorded, transcribed and shared over wide regions of the world, such that today, the medium most commonly-associated with storytelling is the novel. As human activities have become more refined and complex, visual stories have been presented in images carved into wood, ivory or stone, painted on canvas or paper, recorded on film and stored electronically as digital images.

Traditionally, oral stories were passed from generation to generation, and survived solely by memory. With written media, this has become less important. Conversely, in modern times, the vast entertainment industry is built upon a foundation of sophisticated multimedia storytelling.


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