The term interactive media defines a vast array of digital and computer-mediated systems, products, and services that rely on the users’ input to generate output. As such, interactive media are distinguished from traditional or linear media insofar as their design and development explicitly relies on user participation. Participants’ engagement is, thus, both a seminal principle and an intended system consequence (e.g., first-person video games). This entry provides an overview of interactive media and then explores its language, genre, and forms as well as directions for future research.


Interactive media design often relies on determined levels of user input, such as prespecified hot spots (e.g., buttons) and/or triggers (e.g., actions), defined by the authors. Those can range from highly programmed paths (user is given a specific order ...

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