Skip to main content

Table-Top Gaming Narratology for Digital Interactive Storytelling

  • Conference paper
Interactive Storytelling (ICIDS 2009)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNISA,volume 5915))

Included in the following conference series:


In the current environment of digital games and immersive role playing systems, we often overlook previous methods of conveying and experiencing, interactive narrative-based entertainment. We present a fresh perspective on interactive digital storytelling systems based on table-top role playing games. Table-top games offer players the ability to negotiate and determine outcomes of a game with a referee. The nature of table-top gaming is such that players evolve, grow and maintain a rule set that represents an imaginary world. As such this form of gameplay provides a unique opportunity to study complex interactive storytelling structures under controlled circumstances. Using table-top role playing games as a model, we propose terminology and concepts that are different from the traditional literary or dramaturgical perspectives normally applied to interactive narrative systems.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Aarseth, E.: Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore (1997)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bal, M.: Narratology. University of Toronto Press, Toronto (1997)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Barthes, R.: Death of the Author. Image-Music-Text. Hill and Wang, New York (1977)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bogost, I.: Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames. MIT Press, Cambridge (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Core, M.G., Lane, C.H., van Lent, M., Gomboc, D., Solomon, S., Rosenberg, M.: Building Explainable Artificial Intelligence Systems. In: IAAI 2006, pp. 1766–1773. AAAI Press, Menlo Park (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Fine, G.A.: Shared Fantasy: Role Playing Games As Social Worlds. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Juul, J.: Games Telling Stories. Game Studies: Int. J. Computer Game Research 1 (2001), (1 retrieved April 11, 2008 )

  8. Laurel, B.: Computers as Theatre. Addison-Wesley, New York (1993)

    Google Scholar 

  9. LeBlanc, M.: Tools for Creating Dramatic Game Dynamics. In: Salen, K., Zimmerman, E. (eds.) The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology, pp. 438–459. MIT Press, Cambridge (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Riedl, M.O., Saretto, C.J., Young, R.M.: Managing Interaction between Users and Agents in a Multi-Agent Storytelling Environment. In: AAMAS 2003, pp. 741–748. ACM, New York (2003)

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  11. Riedl, M., Young, R.M.: Story Planning as Exploratory Creativity: Techniques for Expanding the Narrative Search Space. New Generation Computing 24(3), 303–323 (2006)

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  12. Mateas, M., Stern, A.: Interaction and Narrative. In: Salen, K., Zimmerman, E. (eds.) The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology, pp. 642–669. MIT Press, Cambridge (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Matsuda, N., Cohen, W.W., Sewall, J., Lacerda, G., Koedinger, K.R.: Why Tutored Problem Solving May be Better Than Example Study: Theoretical Implications from a Simulated-Student Study. In: Woolf, B.P., Aïmeur, E., Nkambou, R., Lajoie, S. (eds.) ITS 2008. LNCS, vol. 5091, pp. 111–121. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  14. Murray, J.: Hamlet on the Holodeck. MIT Press, Cambridge (1998)

    Google Scholar 

  15. Sengers, P.: Schizophrenia and Narrative in Artificial Agents. Leonardo 35(4), 427–431 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Turchi, P.: Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer. Trinity University Press, Berkeley (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  17. Tychsen, A., McIlwain, D., Brolund, T., Hitchens, M.: Player-Character Dynamics in Multi-Player Role Playing Games. In: Proceedings of DIGRA 2007. Situated Play, pp. 40–48 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this paper

Cite this paper

van Velsen, M., Williams, J., Verhulsdonck, G. (2009). Table-Top Gaming Narratology for Digital Interactive Storytelling. In: Iurgel, I.A., Zagalo, N., Petta, P. (eds) Interactive Storytelling. ICIDS 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 5915. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-10642-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-10643-9

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics