Wordless Games: Gameplay as Narrative Technique

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10690)


In this paper, we look at how gameplay can be used to tell stories in a game without the help of words. Through close readings of three wordless games with a strong narrative focus, Journey, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and A Bird Story, we explore how gameplay within wordless games can help to convey a narrative. We have identified four techniques by which gameplay is used for storytelling: gameplay as enacting narrative, manipulating player controls for narrative effect, gameplay for exploring narrative setting, and gameplay as time progression. We discuss these techniques in relation to existing concepts of player experience, and suggest ways gameplay can help to circumvent issues of ambiguity in wordless narrative in games.


Close reading Player experience Game design Wordless games 



This research is partially supported by National University of Singapore, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communications and New MediaNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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