Creating Collaborative Criteria for Agency in Interactive Narrative Game Analysis

Abstract

Although the intermingling of game and narrative in digital media may seem an easy match to the lay game consumer, the relationship between ludic play and narrative play is quite complicated. Given that a key feature of play is agency, and that a key feature of narrative is the listener/reader/consumer’s position outside the text, how can the player maintain a sense of agency in the narrative as well as in the state of play? Individual scholars and game developers have been attempting to successfully balance ludic and narrative agency for some time now, but their experiments tend to yield different (though not incompatible) criteria for analysis. As a result of such isolated experimentation, little progress in this field has been achieved. Rather than contributing to such isolated scholarship and development, I intend to show that by establishing a collaborative criteria, useful and progressive data can be harvested that will aid not only in the evaluation of current digital interactive narratives but in the production of future ones as well.

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Correspondence to Lindsey Joyce.

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Joyce, L. Creating Collaborative Criteria for Agency in Interactive Narrative Game Analysis. Comput Game J 4, 47–58 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40869-015-0004-x

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Keywords

  • Agency
  • Interactive narrative
  • System design
  • Criteria
  • Analysis
  • Experimentation
  • Collaborative
  • Ludic play
  • Games