A Model for Analyzing Diegesis in Digital Narrative Games

  • Erica KleinmanEmail author
  • Elin Carstensdottir
  • Magy Seif El-Nasr
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11869)


Effectively communicating information about the diegetic boundary of a story world is critical to interactive narratives in games. It is crucial to the player’s ability to reason about how the game establishes and limits their options for interaction. However, games have proven difficult to apply traditional models of diegesis to, due to their interactive nature. Having a model for analyzing diegesis in interactive storytelling games could prove beneficial for the examination of communication between designer and player. In this paper, we present possible foundations of such a model, using film theory and the Interaction Model for Interactive Narratives as a lens. We define constructs and components that can be used to identify, isolate, and examine elements of a narrative game that define its diegetic experience and, through four case studies, demonstrate the utility of the model in analyzing the effects of diegesis and include observations on how to improve communication about diegetic boundaries between designer and player.


Diegesis Interactive Narrative User experience Communication Interaction design Narrative design 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erica Kleinman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elin Carstensdottir
    • 1
  • Magy Seif El-Nasr
    • 1
  1. 1.Khoury College of Computer SciencesNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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