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How Knowledge of the Player Character’s Alignment Affect Decision Making in an Interactive Narrative

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 10690)


In game narrative the central role of the protagonist becomes a challenge as the protagonist often conflates with the player character, which the author and the player share control over. This paper investigates whether knowledge of the player character’s alignment, i.e. the inner thoughts of the character, can influence how they decide to progress in a game. The player character’s alignment will present an internal conflict, which will sometimes conflict with the external goal of a game. It is investigated whether players are more likely to abandon their external goal, and ultimately change their in-game behaviour, when exposed to the internal conflict of their character. A test was conducted in which participants played through one of two similar versions of the same game; one in which they were exposed to the player character’s internal conflict, and another in which they were not. The test was conducted online and ended with 467 participants. The data shows that a significant ratio of players changed their behaviour in the game, when exposed to the inner conflict of the player character.


  • Video games
  • Narrative
  • Protagonist
  • Player character
  • Character alignment
  • Internal conflict

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Correspondence to Mette Jakobsen .

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Jakobsen, M., Christensen, D.S., Bruni, L.E. (2017). How Knowledge of the Player Character’s Alignment Affect Decision Making in an Interactive Narrative. In: Nunes, N., Oakley, I., Nisi, V. (eds) Interactive Storytelling. ICIDS 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 10690. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-71026-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-71027-3

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