Choose Your Permanent Adventure: Towards a Framework for Irreversible Storygames

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11869)


The majority of interactive narrative games allow the player to save their progress as the game unfolds. These save game options are either automatically enforced or manual. However, there is an increasing trend for interactive narrative games to be ‘irreversible’. In such cases, this makes it difficult for the player to load or access previous save games. As a result, the player’s sense of agency changes within the game, as the stakes and consequences of their story decisions are more difficult to reverse, and thus take on a feeling of permanence. Through close readings of The Walking Dead: Season One, Sorcery! and Undertale, this paper aims to provide an initial framework for irreversible storygames by (i) defining the different types of irreversibility by analyzing three games in which the form of irreversibility differs, and (ii) exploring subjective factors of the user experience that may be impacted by the different types of irreversibility.


Storygames Irreversibility Agency Rereading Replay 



This research is funded in part under the Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 grant FY2018-FRC2-003, “Understanding Repeat Engagement with Dynamically Changing Computational Media”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Nanyang PolytechnicSingaporeSingapore

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