Interactive Digital Narrative: Theory

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 1.12.24 PM.pngThis is part two of an overview of Interactive Digital Narrative: History, Theory, and Practice. See my earlier post for coverage of the book’s history section (and one practice chapter that I took out of order because it felt like it fit better that way).

This time we’re looking at the theory section, which addresses academic approaches to interactive narrative (including the question of what interactive narrative even is).

Again, the section begins with a brief overview from the volume editors, and this provides a fair sketch of the academic debates of the last couple of decades, together with a bibliography of a number of foundational pieces in this space. I might also have listed Jesper Juul’s half-real here, as it provides a readable and persuasive cap to the narratology vs ludology debate.

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Games from GDC 2012

This year’s GDC brought me in contact with a wide range of really interesting games, demonstrating the incredible spectrum of what games are good at and for: not just frustration, fear, exploration, and adrenal rushes, but many stranger and more nuanced emotional reactions.

Here are some highlights of many different types, several from the IGF Expo floor and others from other encounters:

Storyteller by Dan Benmergui is an expansion of an earlier work of the same name (that I actually reviewed long ago). The winner of the 2012 IGF Nuovo award, Storyteller is a puzzle game whose mechanic is essentially about understanding the rules of comics, in good Scott McCloud style.

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