How Storytelling Functions in Video Games (Part 2): Defining Video Games, Stories and Play

How Storytelling Functions in Video Games (Part 2): Defining Video Games, Stories and Play

For this second entry of the series, I define some essential terms such as games, video games, and stories. It is surprisingly complicated to define these terms and I do so in order to ensure future reference to the gameplay in a video game, for instance, cannot be misunderstood or misinterpreted. In other words, you are in for a few theoretical definitions, but I promise it is quite interesting to know the difference between these terms. 

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How Storytelling Functions in Video Games (Part 1): Introduction

How Storytelling Functions in Video Games (Part 1): Introduction

This is the first entry in a series of upcoming posts that all derive from my M.A. Thesis. As the title indicates, these posts concern themselves with storytelling in video games. They are an examination of the traditional storytelling structures and how these are represented in video games. Part 1 is the thesis introduction, including a few comments here and there. Part 1 leaves a lot of unanswered questions, but these will be addressed over the coming weeks.

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The Story Structure of Video Games: A difference of execution and content presentation

The Story Structure of Video Games: A difference of execution and content presentation

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.

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Dishonored 2: Player choice, meaningful decisions, and lack of emotional impact

Dishonored 2: Player choice, meaningful decisions, and lack of emotional impact

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.

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