Game Career Guide is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Get the latest Education e-news
 
  • Master's Thesis: Narration in the Video Game

    [05.24.07]
    - Dominic Arsenault
  •  

    Abstract

    This thesis puts together the foundations of a narratological conception of video games. The author attempts to determine whether narrativity is intrinsic to the video game medium, in what ways it appears, and what its use is in gaming terms. To this end, he presents and amends the definitions of many problematic concepts, such as interactivity, story, narration, and narrative. Inspired by the works of film studies, the author adapts the theories of narratology to take into account the interactive nature of video games, first on a general theoretical level, and then in precise case studies. The resulting narratological model proposes that every game features both an external embedded narrative and an intrinsic videogame narrative.

    Chapter one discusses and defines the concepts of video games and interactivity. Chapter two discusses the theoretical foundations of the story and whether the content of a video game can be seen as a story. Chapter three examines gameplay and attempts to determine whether the content is communicated to the player by way of narration or other means. Chapter four reworks the concept of narrative into something more specific to video games, and proposes a new model. A number of game examples are analyzed in this light.

    The first three chapters are more theoretical and oriented toward concepts and ideas. Game developers looking for more practical, down-to-earth observations may skip directly to chapter four. Games studied include Super Mario Bros., Metroid Prime, Final Fantasy IV, Ninja Gaiden, Diablo, and the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

    "Narration in the Video Game" by Dominic Arsenault, Master of Arts in Film Studies, Université de Montréal, Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

comments powered by Disqus