As a frequent reader of this blog — I’m talkin’ to you! — you know that we firmly land on the side that story has its place in games as a motivator as well as a context for fun. When story doesn’t work, it hasn’t been seamlessly integrated into the entire design… or possibly the story was just poorly written and conceived. We’re magnanimous people, of course, so let’s see what others have to say. I would link to Gamasutra articles, but it’s the rest of the interwebs this time! Let’s look at a few more academic approaches on how to bring narrative to games.
Games, Storytelling, and Breaking the String
Greg Costikyan offers a link to his contribution to the SECOND PERSON book on writing for games. An admittedly half-academic article, it begins with the premise that a story is inherently linear. I have to disagree; story is not plot, a series of events that happen one after the other. If you were to watch the film MEMENTO in chronological order, it would still be the same story, although your experience of it might be different. Check out his chapter and see if you disagree.
Space and Narrative in Video Games
A studied look at 3D architecture in games, which suggests level designers should take a few lessons in storytelling as well as in designing fun space.
Found any other missives from academics out there? Or do you think the academic approach is a bit too, well, academic?