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Vladimir Propp's 31 Functions and 8 Broad Character Types

"Vladimir Propp studied folktales and reduced the story into formal algorithms, ignoring the text but rather turning the static narrative into essentially a verbal equation." -Excerpt from "An investigation of Vladimir Propp's 31 Functions and 8 Broad Character types and how they apply to the analysis of video games" by Andrew Brusentsev, et al. 2012.

I can't stop thinking about that thesis I read about turning stories into algorithms and analyzing them that way (see link for the abstract). To rid myself of this brainwurm, I will be attempting in the next few weeks to understand and apply this algorithmization to my favorite games. Frankly, I am dubious, and the former English Literature Major in me is cringing at the thought of sterilizing a creative work of fiction by transmuting it into an algorithm. However, as canvas or parchment upon which video games are rendered is digital in nature, it would be feasible to think that a more technological approach to understanding story in these interactive environs may potentially yield more forthcoming results. We shall see...

About the Author

PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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