Wednesday, February 08, 2006


“Here, the ludologist’s insistence that game scholars focus more attention on the mechanics of gameplay seems totally in order.”

As gaming progresses, I think pre-empted storylines in games will progressively be less prevalent.

The ability for a game player to be presented real-life physics of objects, people, and environments in games is more desirable than a complex or entertaining pre-empted storyline.

It is like the player is supposed to imagine that he or she is involved in a storyline, but what is it worth if the player cannot react however they would choose to react in real-life?

For example, if I am playing a first-person shooter game, and I see a boulder that I would realistically be able to climb over in real-life but am not able to climb in the game, the game will seem as though it is unrealistic. I have found actions such as this to be common in games.

I think games will eventually evolve into nothing more than a real-world environment where no previous storyline is given. The game will simply be the player acting in the environment in order to deal with the consequences (which should represent real-life consequences.) The storyline will evolve as the player plays the game, rather than the player being given a storyline and certain goal to achieve in the game. I think The Sims has attempted to do this, but it seems as though too many of the occurrences in The Sims do not represent what would really happen in real life.

Pretend you are a good person who leads a successful life. What would it be like to “get away from everything” and be dropped into an environment, which is representative of the real world, where you have no real-life consequences, but are able to act as you wish as if it were real-life?

Maybe this is all an impossible imagination. Or will this ever be possible?

Should storylines be given to the player at the beginning of a game so that they know specifically what their goal is in a game, or should the player make their own goals in a game?

What is more important: the development of storylines or the representation of real-life mechanics?


At 10:34 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Maybe I am not fully grasping Jenkins' meaning, but I think that he is implying that the very design of the game (the environment in which the player is immersed) is the framework for the narrative that will emerge. The choices of what the game creator chooses to include and omit in the envirnoment shapes how the participant will be able to interact with his or her environment. Jenkins gave the example of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney -- although there is no written-out story about the looting pirates, every aspect of the ride screams "pirate!" ...
arrr... Where's the booty?

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Ashley Ward said...

I guess that to me a game with a 'real world' environment and 'real-life consequences' seems sort of pointless. I'd rather be out there actually living than being in a videogame playing my life. When I play a game, it's to escape reality. I think if I were put into a game that mimics real life so completely, it would only stress me out.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger Kasey Bradley said...

I also believe games will eventually evolve from creator-centered narrative, but I think that because the "sandbox" game environment is getting so popular it might be reasonable for developers to to begin making games where you can stumble upon multiple storylines without being attached to one single thread.

I just want to begin life in a game as a wizard and, through hard-work and determination, become dream could be realized in a game like that.

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Curtisgeist said...

Your post brings us back to the ultra-realism question, but concerning interactivity rather than visualization.

It also brings up something I think is important, the idea that we give up control for a lesser kind of interactivity (mechanical in nature) which is proposed by the ludologist rule-proponents.


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