The ideal for interactive storytelling is to merge the designer’s story and the player’s story into one, so that the player can have a real impact on a story while the story retains its dramatic qualities. There are two good examples of the ideal inter- active storytelling experience. The first is an example Chris Crawford is fond of using: that of a parent telling a child a story. The parent has in mind a story to tell including what characters it will involve, what surprises it will contain, roughly how the story will unfold, and approximately how it will end. But as the child asks questions about the story, the parent will change the tale accordingly. The parent may use a book as a guide, but will stray from that guide as necessary. For example, the story might begin: “As the princess wandered through the dark forest, she was frightened by many different things she saw, including a large newt, a dark cave, and an old shack.” As the parent tells the story, the child may ask questions. “What color was the newt?” “The newt was a strange shade of yellow, a color the princess had only seen in the royal spiced mustard.” “What about the cave?” “From within the cave came a terrible smell, reminiscent of the smell of sulfur burning.” “Maybe there’s an old sorcerer in there, making potions. Does she go into the cave?” “She did enter the cave, taking each step carefully in order to avoid stumbling in the dark. And as she went deeper into the cave, she started to see a light, and a voice shouted, ‘Who is it that enters my cave?’ And as she got closer, the princess saw an old wizard with tattered robes . . . ” There may not have actually been a sorcerer in the story as the parent had initially intended to tell it, but as the child asks ques- tions, instead of answering “you can’t go that way” or “there’s nothing special about it” as a poorly designed computer game might, the parent adapts the story to the child, adding detail and introducing new characters and situations as necessary. The overall story arc and its main protagonists may not change that much, but the child has had a real role in determining what exactly happens in the story.