The Glue of Narratives – Indirect Storytelling in a Digital World

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Kenni Kirkegaard Hornstrup
  • Peter Skov Klitgaard Madsen
  • Lars Kiesbye Bendixen
4. semester, Interaktive Digitale Medier, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This thesis has been made by three Interactive Digital Media students with two different bachelor backgrounds. One who has a bachelor degree in IT with a focus on business and the other two with a bachelor degree in Medialogy. The thesis take roots in the Unified Theory made by Ralph and Monu, which is a way to describe the interaction between the Players, the Artifact (the video game and delivery devices) and the Experience this interaction produces. The thesis aims to investigate four different research question: 1. How do video games relay narratives and enjoyment, and in what way do different aspects of the video game experiences work in conjunction with one another? 
 2. Which narrative mechanics are used to indirectly emphasise video game narratives and are these indirect methods represented in video game models? 
 3. What can be used to indirectly emphasise video game narratives outside fields of study or content production? 
 4. How are non-fundamental elements of video game mechanics or narratives represented and functioning within video game design? 
 In order to answer the research questions it uses, as mentioned, the Unified Theory by Ralph & Monu as a base. To ensure the validity of their theory, we compared some of their definitions to other authors on the subject of video games. As part of this process we found certain aspects were not accounted for in Ralph & Monu’s theory, such as certain implicit narrative methods: Environmental Storytelling, Guidance, Form & Colour, Animation among others. In order to include these, we suggested Emergent Mechanics as a concept and its inclusion into the model. The definition is as follows: Emergent Mechanics: Rationalised design choices made in order to promote certain desirable Emergent- and Interpreted Narratives in relations to Game Mechanics and Embedded Narratives. Many of the techniques that fit into the description of Emergent Mechanics were explored throughout the thesis. In addition, the Unified Theory and the suggested Emergent Mechanics were discussed through an online fora with people in and around the game industry. This was done in order to ensure the validity of Emergent Mechanics as a categorisation for the previously mentioned techniques. This discussion raised the issue of the chosen naming, as people with different backgrounds were inclined to suggest different names for the categorisation. The thesis concludes the definition is functional as a concept, but the naming may need re-evaluation.
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2016
Antal sider112
ID: 234434838