Reflective Rereading and the SimCity Effect in Interactive Stories
- Cite this paper as:
- Mitchell A. (2015) Reflective Rereading and the SimCity Effect in Interactive Stories. In: Schoenau-Fog H., Bruni L., Louchart S., Baceviciute S. (eds) Interactive Storytelling. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9445. Springer, Cham
Reflective rereading in print literature involves a critical or meditative re-examination of a work for deeper meanings. In this paper I argue that, in interactive stories, reflective rereading can involve examining the surface of an interactive work with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of and appreciation for how the underlying computational system functions, and how this internal structure relates to the surface experience of the work as a story. I explore this through close readings of four interactive stories: The Walking Dead (Season 1), Façade, Prom Week, and Blood and Laurels. Through this analysis, I make connections between this form of reflective rereading and Wardrip-Fruin’s “SimCity Effect”, suggesting a correspondence between works that afford reflective rereading and those that exhibit the SimCity effect. Further, I suggest that the abstractions used to represent the underlying system will impact whether or not an interactive story affords reflective rereading.