Extensive research has shown that narrative (storytelling, etc.) is fundamental to how we as humans experience our world and relate to others. In this Theme, we will investigate the ways in which narrative and dialogue are also capable of promoting engagement in the virtual world of games. Core questions to be addressed here include the following: How can we better use narrative techniques/tools and theories/methodologies to improve gaming experiences? How do story genres and dialogue systems work as narrative systems in games?
Projects will include:
- A study of narrative scope, branching narratives, and generative narratives: pitfalls and benefits of different narrative types and their impact on the story
- Everyday storytelling: What is the place of the narratives and storytelling that emerge out of games in everyday life? How do players become storytellers? What is the path from storytelling to player content creation?
- The life of game writing: how game writers work and function within the games industry; how do they interact with programmers, designers, level designers, marketing staff, etc.
- Transmedia experiences: understanding the translation of story from one media to another; understanding how text, as text, works in a game.
Publications & Presentations
|Camlot, Jason||“Historicizing with Digital Design, or, What building a “digital archive” can teach us about the material Archive.” (Re)constituer l’archive conference. Figura-NT2 Concordia, 27 March 2015.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Camlot, Jason||“SpokenWeb 2010–2015: Edition, Event, Context.” Panel on Les editions critiques en context numerique. Canadian Society of Digital Humanities conference, Congress 2015. University of Ottawa, 3 June 2015.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Camlot, Jason||“Theses on Weird Media.” Delivered as organizer/respondent for two panels on Literature and Media at the Modern Language Association annual conference. Vancouver, 9–10 January 2014.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Gallagher, Rob||‘Exaptation, Interpretation, PlayStation.’ College Art Association conference 2014, Chicago, February 14th 2014.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Gallagher, Rob||‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Bugs: On Modding and the Poetry of Patch Notes.’ Canadian Game Studies Association annual conference, Brock University, Ontario. May 28th, 2014.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Jong, Carolyn||“‘Improving’ Lydia: Fantasy Girls and Women Warriors.” IMMERSe Medievalism and Video Games Symposium. May 2–3, 2015. Davis, CA, United States.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Jong, Carolyn||“‘Fighting the Good Fight’: GamerGate and Neo-fascism.” Let’s Ruin Games Panel. Canadian Game Studies Association Conference. June 3–5, 2015. Ottawa, ON, Canada.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Jong, Carolyn||“Playing Bodies, Modding Bodies, Breaking Bodies.” Canadian Game Studies Association Conference. May 28, 2014. Brock University, St. Catharines, ON.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Jong, Carolyn, Rob Gallagher, and Kalervo A. Sinervo||“A History of Happy Accidents, or Who Wrote The Elder Scrolls?” Games History Annual Symposium. June 27, 2014. Montreal, QC.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Sinervo, Kalervo A||“Gaming Gotham: Transmedia Geography and the Batman: Arkham Game Series.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. March 28, 2015. Montreal, Canada.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Sinervo, Kalervo A||“Gotham on the Ground: the Heritage of Batman: Arkham Origins’ Virtual Geography.” Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. April 4, 2015. New Orleans, USA.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Sinervo, Kalervo A.||“Mod Installation as Game Design in Bethesda’s Skyrim.” Canadian Game Studies Association 2014 Conference. May 28, 2014. St. Catharines, Canada.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Sinervo, Kalervo A., and Darren Wershler||“Digital Marvel and the Bias of Media.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. March 8, 2013. Chicago, USA.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||Concordia|
|Buswell, Evan||“If: Close Reading the Conditional Branch Instruction.” Presentation at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), Dallas, TX, 2014.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Keynote Address||UC Davis|
|Aardse, Kent.||“Alternate Reality Games, Narrative Disbursement, and Canon: The LOST Experience.” Fan CULTure: Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century. McFarland Publishing. 2012.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||UWaterloo|
|Hancock, Michael.||“Motorville und de Portal-Quest: Die Rhetork der Fantasy in Ni no Kuni.” Paida: Zeitschrift für Computerspielforschung. Oct 22, 2014. Web. July 3, 2015.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Journal Article||UWaterloo|
|Orlando, Alexandra and Matthew Schwager.||“The Cyborg Game: Narrative/Ludic Fusion in Deus Ex: Human Revolution“. The Play Versus Story Divide in Game Studies: Critical Essays. McFarland. 2016.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Conf. Paper||UWaterloo|
|Voorhees, G.||Play and Possibility in the Rhetoric of the War on Terror: The Structure of Agency in Halo 2. Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research 9 (2). 2014.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Journal Article||UWaterloo|
|Collins, Karen||Breaking the Fourth Wall: User-Generated Sonic Content in Virtual Worlds. Oxford Handbook of Virtuality, Oxford University Press (ed. Mark Grimshaw). 2013.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games||Book Chapter||UWaterloo|
|Hancock, Michael.||“Gamer Profiles: The Split-Screener.” Medium Difficulty. 17 April 2013. Web. July 10, 2013.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games and Multimodality in the Game||Journal Article||UWaterloo|
|Randall, N.||The Lord of the Rings Online: Issues of Adaptation [with K. Murphy], in Voorhees, G., Call, J., & Whitlock, K., (eds) Dungeons, Dragons, and Digital Denizens: The Digital Role-Playing Game. Continuum, 2012. 113-131.||Narrative and Dialogue in Games; Cultural & Social Interactions||Journal Article||UWaterloo|
|Waldron, Emma||“Playing for Intimacy: Love, Lust, and Desire in the Pursuit of Embodied Design.” With Aaron Trammell. In Rated M for Mature: Sex and Sexuality in Video Games, edited by Matthew Wysocki and Evan W. Lauteria, 177-193. New York: Bloomsbury, Cultural and Social Interactions||Narrative and Dialogue in Games; Cultural and Social Interactions; Interactions and Gameplay Mechanics||Book Chapter||Multiple Institutions|
|Waldron, Emma||“Playing for Intimacy: Love, Lust, and Desire in the Pursuit of Embodied Design.” With Aaron Trammell. In Rated M for Mature: Sex and Sexuality in Video Games, edited by Matthew Wysocki and Evan W. Lauteria, 177-193. New York: Bloomsbury, Cultural and Social Interactions||Narrative and Dialogue in Games; Interactions and Gameplay Mechanics; Cultural and Social Interactions||Book Chapter||Multiple Institutions|
Gotham On The Ground: Transmedia Meets Topography In The Environments Of The Arkham Videogame Series
Contemporary franchised media production in is marked by heavily polished, highly coordinated instalments that harness and synergize multiple media concurrently in order to more effectively saturate markets with manifold iterations of singular intellectual properties. But how do the unwieldy protocols of transmedia impact upon the narratives of our pop culture icons, their identities and the fictional worlds that they inhabit? In the context of 21st Century licensing, where extended universes and (proposed) narrative coherence across various properties abound across media, it is useful to look back upon the history of how multiple iterations and continuity were handled in pre-networked production, and how the transition to franchised transmedia has worked on what we think of as narrative cohesion. Though such an undertaking may appear daunting in its magnitude, by focusing on specific aspects of transmedia production—such as worldbuilding—we can begin to make headway
Read it in full here.
Play and Possibility in the Rhetoric of the War on Terror: The Structure of Agency in Halo 2
This essay examines the popular military-themed first person shooter video game Halo 2. It contends that Halo 2 is a post-9/11 rhetoric that helps position players attitudinally in relation to the War on Terror. Articulating Halo 2 to the post-9/11 context, this essay uses Michel Foucault’s theory of agency and Northrop Frye’s theories of fictional mode and thematic genre to consider a range of possible, potentially overlapping affective responses to Halo 2. These possibilities, which variously affirm and contest the Bush administration’s narrative of the War on Terror, foreground both the rhetorical efficacy of digital games and the player’s agency to determine their rhetorical effect.
Read it in full here.