‘Inanimate Alice’ tells the story of Alice, growing up in the early years of the 21st century. Written and directed by writer Kate Pullinger and digital artist Chris Joseph, this series of multimedia, interactive episodes uses a combination of text, sound, images, and games as Alice takes us on a journey through her life from the age of eight through to her twenties. Alice becomes a games animator; not just any animator, but a creator of characters for the most successful games company in the world.

And one character stands out: Brad, Alice’s only true friend in life. The ten episodes of ‘Inanimate Alice’ become increasingly interactive and game-like, reflecting Alice’s own developing skills as a game designer and animator. ‘Inanimate Alice’ is a study of human/computer relations in a world where having friends means never having to meet them.

I was contacted by Ian about this project recently – and I thought it worth passing on. He draws attention to episode 4: Hometown” ( which Alice previews a software tool that she has created, called iStories. A supremely simple storytelling tool, iStories enables students and staff to choose photos, add words, music and sound effects and BOOM! you have your own interactive story in minutes. Check it out at

I’d love to hear from any teachers how have the chance to try this with students.

5 thoughts on “InanimateAlice

  1. To see really exciting new multimedia literacy try out Inanimate Alice. And its a free online resource!
    More an interactive piece of fiction than a traditional game, Inanimate Alice: Episode 4 continues the story of the young game animator as she leaves her home in Russia and travels abroad. Inanimate Alice serves as both entertainment and a peek into the future of literature as a fusion of multimedia technologies. The haunting images and accompanying music and text weave a remarkably gripping tale that must be experienced to be believed.
    And better still for schools there is a piece of software now available that allows learners to create their own stories. Valuable for all forms of literacy and this is being sold as a perpetual site licence for schools at £99 !

  2. I would love to hear from teachers too… iStories is magnificent. It is a really simple way for pupils to combine music, text and their own photos.

    A site licence for a whole school, forever? For £99?

    There are other such creation tools and some of them are free but the interface and guidance on iStories is great. Also loads of support stuff is being produced, some of iStories stories written by English published authors such as Gill Budgell.

    Really worth buying for every school.

  3. I too have had my attention drawn to “Inanimate Alice” via a comment on my blog after I summarised my presentation at the recent ALEA conference here in Adelaide. The only thing that concerned me was the spammy comment approach, especially after I found the exact same comment on Vicki Davis’s blog. It is one thing to point to a cool new resource but I felt that it bordered on comment based advertising. I was tempted to delete the comment on my blog but seeing it was to a potentially useful educational tool, I took it out of moderation. But I still didn’t like the approach – which ironically, you’ve also got going in your comments here, Derek.

  4. Hi Graeme
    I agree re; comment-based advertising – disappointing to see this sort of thing happen, particularly with something that, in my view, has such value and potential.

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