Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Of the four authors this week, I enjoyed reading Pearce’s. Pearce does an excellent job weaving game narrative into interactivity. I think the main point of this essay is to show that the narrative is live. Like going to a concert, a play, a wedding, and so forth - the participant actively takes part in the narrative.
Pearce separates play and story early on. I tend to think that play IS story in the gaming world. Pearce also indicates that many players find the mid-level cinematic annoying and that, “Games tend to favor abstracted personas over “developed” characters with clear personalities and motivations. More abstracted characters leave more room for the player, and are therefore better suited to support a play-centric model.” Maybe the developers have always made games as stories where the player decides the narrative – it’s a live narrative, never to be repeated (unlike watching BATMAN over and over on DVD).

If we view game players as an integral part to the story – as a character (the actual person sitting outside of the X-Box), what kinds of games can be developed? I think much of what has been examined in the past has focused on the players as agents (or their agents) and not the players themselves as a part of the story – interacting with the narrative. I guess my BIG QUESTION is: Is there a way to seperate our investigation of the agent and the player?


At 7:31 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I think Majestic tried to blend the player and agent a bit more but of course it failed. I think some of this happens when you get to create characters in games that can be like you.
EA’s NHL series allows you to put your face on a hockey player and the results are very realistic ( I really did score 75 goals in 33 games in the 2004 season. Jack scored 95) but again it is an avatar.
It also kind of relates to people taking on the identity of the WoW players (Sarah says this is her comment and I am stealing it). Will Michelle see people this weekend who are dressed as their avatars in WoW?


At 8:47 AM, Blogger flook said...

Ok, but other than the hockey game, is there a way to make avatars and users the same? I mean, if people are shelling out thousands of dollars to by non-existing swords, couldn't we "exist" in a fictional electronic world? Like users, interacting with a something like the Sims through an avatar, but with real bank accounts and what not.


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