Ladykiller in a Bind, created by Christine Love,is what many would probably call an interactive visual novel. However, I argue that it should still be considered a video game, and not considering experiences such as this one video games would be a loss to the game community and the media’s otherwise diverse possibilities of expression.
When we think of stories, we could mention at least a dozen different categories within which we classify our stories, and multiple ways of construction; i.e. short stories, novels, graphic novels, journals, etc. And those were just written examples. There is also audio-visual storytelling, theatre, and many more. Not least, video games. Naturally, I shall be talking about video games.
One might say that “ludo-narrative dissonance” has become somewhat of a buzz-word of mine of late, and one would be very correct in saying so. The issues presented in video games when ludic (game mechanics) and narrative expressions do not compute has become a particular interest of mine. So much so that is has become a central part of my Master’s Thesis: “In order to create a cohesive experience of play and story, ludic and narrative elements must align in meaning and expression”.
One of the great challenges when designing video games is not merely to design a game that is interesting and fun for the first one or two hours of play, since this is helped along massively by the novelty of the game, the world, the story, etc. Novelty drives much of the excitement and curiosity. But what then when this extends into 10+ hours of play? What happens when the novelty wears off? That is where a game must truly prove its mettle.