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Contentious notions about Narrative in games

"Unfortunately, Narrative in modern video games at large has always been a rather contentious topic in Game Studies. On the one hand, some have argued that the narratives of games have sufficient depth to be explicated, or that games in and of themselves (and between their players) constitute a kind of meta-narrative. In response to this, others have equally argued that narrative is incidental to the game medium, and/or that a game narrative cannot be meaningfully understood in terms of analytical tools which were designed to address static media. "The one thing that seems consistent in the wide spectrum of ideas is that narrative is essentially present and addressable to some considerable critical extent, and that the video game medium is presenting new and dynamic ways of human expression which are so rapidly and ubiquitously effective that academics are still trying to figure out exactly what is going on with this prickly business of narratives in games. "Equally, this wide variety of theories and posits on the nature and function of narrative in video games shows what other conventional precedent media have known all along: that the ways in which human creativity can be displayed are fundamentally inexhaustible."

About the Author

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

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