Why Paris Needs Hector and Lancelot Needs Mordred: Using Traditional Narrative Roles and Functions for Dramatic Compression in Interactive Narrative

  • Janet H. Murray
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7069)


This paper proposes that we think of traditional story patterns as an available abstraction technology, containing strategies of parameterization and encapsulation that could be useful for creating digital narratives with meaningful variation of story elements. An example domain of a woman with two or more potential sexual/romantic partners is used to illustrate how such an approach could leverage the dramatic compression of narrative traditions to identify meaningful variations, in order to support coherent composition by authors and increase dramatic agency for interactors.


Narrative Schema Narrative Roles Narrative Functions Interactive Narrative Vladimir Propp Dramatic Agency 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet H. Murray
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Digital Media, School of Literature, Communication and CultureGeorgia Tech, TSRB 320AAtlantaUSA

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