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week 12: Interactive Literature

Interactive Literature: digitally-born narrative texts / locative texts

Prepare
Ryan, Marie Laure. “Will New Media Produce New Narratives?” Ed. Marie Laure Ryan. Narrative Across Media: The Languages of Storytelling. NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2004. 337-360.
Ryan, Marie Laure. “Narration in Various Media.” the living handbook of narratology. http://www.lhn.uni-hamburg.de. 2012. revised 2014.
Pry (Tender Claws, 2015) http://prynovella.com/
Guest Speaker Samantha Gorman is a writer, artist, curator and educator. Her work combines text, cinema, games, virtual reality and scholarship about digital media. Her written critical and creative work can be found in journals such as The Electronic Book Review and literary magazines such as Dussie. With Danny Cannizzaro she founded the studio Tender Claws. Cannizzaro and Gorman’s first release as Tender Claws was the award winning app PRY. PRY won the New Media Writing Prize 2015 and was a Future of Storytelling Prize finalist, IGF finalist for “Excellence in Narrative” and has been showcased at film festivals, game festivals and book review sites. Tender Claws’ next project draws on her seven years of experience in developing literary arts projects for Virtual Reality at Brown University’s CAVE VR studio. Upcoming projects include a VR comedy, satire about the cultural moment of VR titled “Virtual, Virtual Reality (VVR).” VVR is in production for Google’s Daydream VR and will be released in early 2017.

One thought on “week 12: Interactive Literature

  1. I suppose I was late to check the latest readings to be updated to the blog, but the only article I was able to read was Ryan’s From Narrative Games to Playable Stories: Toward a Poetics of Interactive Narrative. I apologize that I was not able to read the updated readings, but I enjoyed this one.

    One of the points I found interesting was that “in a narrative game, a story is meant to enhance gameplay, while in a playable story, gameplay is meant to produce a story.” This point just brought up a thought about how in this school in particular, and certainly in my department, we are driven by story, even if the work is experimental, there is always some kind of narrative, or at least a structure. I just thought that it would be difficult, for me at least, to create a game in which the gameplay drives the production of a story. I would not even know where to begin to develop a game that followed this blueprint. I’m sure a class for this kind of gameplay development exists in our school, but if it does not, it would certainly be useful. But that is just a thought.

    Something else that came to me was her description of paidia games and that they basically mimic everyday activities. Wouldn’t this form of gameplay result in a limitation of games? It was brought up earlier in the reading that there are already physical limitations in gaming, wouldn’t the player get bored with paidia games? Isn’t there a limitation of storytelling because these games to mimic everyday life? I would imagine that the interaction would be very limited and not very interesting. Even in games that are meant to be more realistically, at least more visually realistic, like games like Call of Duty and others, there is still some freedom when it comes to the physics of the characters in the game. We have all seen the hilarious glitches that come out of these games. She also brings up ludus games and how they are “strictly controlled by pre-existing rules” and the thrill comes from competition and solving problems. Would these games become tiresome as well since the game is controlled by these pre-existing rules?

    One of the last points I found interesting was her opinion about narrative games and how the player “plays to win” and that the “story is mostly lure into the game world.” I would agree on the second point, especially with the games that are coming out today. I know I have mentioned this game quite a bit in past comments for past readings, but this holds true for the sequel/prequel of Red Dead Redemption. I feel that a lot of players are more excited for the story rather than “beating” the game. Although there is excitement for the new upgrades in play, such as new weapons and not dying the second you hit the water, most of the excitement has been centered about the story. One last interesting point she brings up is about the games that are based on pre-existing stories and how they tend to be developed as shooter and quest games. She states that these games are attractive to players because they are “spatial and visual(ly)” pleasurable. I agree with this to a point. I find this to be very true with the Star Wars Battle Front game. I was first excited to play the game because I thought there would be some kind of story with the game, but I found it to be very disappointing because I found myself just running around pretending to be in that world. There seemed to be no point. However, I contrast this with Battlefield 1, where these stories are already well known, it becomes a great thrill to play as one of these historic figures.

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