The Story We Cannot See: On How a Retelling Relates to Its Afterstory

  • Bjarke Alexander LarsenEmail author
  • Luis Emilio Bruni
  • Henrik Schoenau-Fog
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11869)


The field of Emergent Narrative in digital narrative studies has seen a lot of research since its inception in 1999, and a lot of it is helpful, but also there has been confusion in terms and a lack of focus on the specifics of how the narrative is shaped in the mind of the player. The term itself has been used to both describe the ensuing field, the concept, the process, and the resulting narrative experience. This paper aims to clarify these misunderstandings by investigating the field and defining the term “afterstory” to help solidify the relationship between the differing aspects of Emergent Narrative. Afterstory is specifically defined as the virtual, mental story that exists in the player’s mind after play and informed by the interactions and their perspective on them. Then, using previous work on retellings, the paper will relate afterstory to how people retell their afterstories, and what we can use those retellings for in relation to the system that helped form them. In conclusion, some examples will be brought forth that showcase the difficult nature of extrapolating a retelling’s quality to its interactive narrative system’s quality, but how it can still be done with careful, purposeful analysis.


Emergent Narrative Afterstory Interactive Digital Narrative Emergent storytelling Storyworld Retelling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjarke Alexander Larsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luis Emilio Bruni
    • 1
  • Henrik Schoenau-Fog
    • 1
  1. 1.Aalborg UniversityCopenhagenDenmark

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