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Diegesis & Video Games

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  • Diegesis & Video Games

    Story as a function of gameplay in First Person Shooters:
    an analysis of FPS diegetic content 1998-2007

    and another take on it.

    I dig it.

  • #2
    pdf doesn't diplay correctly for me. How many pages is it? I usually do dig this sort of stuff as well, but... I read the short version in your second link, and I still don't get what these guys are actually trying to say.

    The PDF is probably tl;dr, and I don't say that lightly.
    Scout's Journey
    Rune of Earth Magic


    • #3
      It's 343 pages, including all the prefaces, indexes, footnotes, etc. I'm not very far in yet, I posted these links as soon as I realized this is some great info and someone else may want to read it. I'm gonna have to print this one off.

      Here is the summary directly from the paper:

      The relationship between game content and gameplay remains underexplored. High level debate about the
      relative narrativity of games remains common, but there is a gap in the understanding about the particularities of
      how diegetic objects relates to the business of managing player experience and behaviour at the heart of gameplay.
      The first half of this thesis proposes a new model for understanding gameplay as a network of affordance
      relationships which define supported actions. The theoretical focus upon supported actions rather than object
      characteristics enables a better understanding of the framework of gameplay created by a complex system of
      interrelated objects. In particular, it illustrates how the essential ludic structure of first-person games can be
      described in very simple terms, thus defining a discontinuity between complexity of experience and simplicity of
      structure. It is proposed that story is a primary means of managing this discontinuity to provide an immersive
      and seamless experience.
      Traditional models of narrative and interactive narrative are discussed to illustrate the problems of attempting to
      apply them directly to gameplay, and this is summarised in a discussion of the narratology/ludology debate.
      Instead, a new conceptualisation of narrative, drawn from the use of narrative as a model and metaphor in
      psychology, and based on schema theory is offered. It is argued that this new, game-specific conceptualisation –
      of a network of protonarrative units – maps efficiently and effectively onto the affordance model of gameplay and
      thus resolves the historical problem.
      In the second half of the thesis, evidence is offered to support the argument that not only can story be
      understood as a form of affordance, but that by examining commercial FPS titles, it is clear that story is used to
      manipulate player behaviour – that it serves a distinct gameplay function. This is achieved by analysing core
      elements of story: worlds and their populations; the avatar as a key device in managing the player/system
      relationship; and plot as the predetermined changes to object relationships over the course of a game.
      It is concluded that when gameplay is understood as a network of affordances, and story as a network of
      protonarrative units, and when the genre is analysed with this model in mind, not only is an understanding of
      the gameplay function of story evident, but this analysis yields a deeper level of understanding about the nature
      of FPS games and gameplay than has previously been available.
      So far, if this was a book I would pay good money for it. It is FULL of examinations of real titles, tables, diagrams, references. Very, very thorough.

      It's pretty long to read front to back, but it would be great to have around as a reference (it has an extensive index).


      • #4
        I'll have to try reading it under Wndows. The font simply doesn't display for me :-|
        Scout's Journey
        Rune of Earth Magic


        • #5
          Imagine if you will... A Thesis on:

          "The Operational Constructs of a Bidirectional Mechanism Given Choices of Free Will Weighed Against Necessity"

          In other words, should I turn, or do I need, the light switch on... or, hrrmmm... off!

          At least that's what I got so far. I may be "undereducated" I will admit, but usually I do not get this sense of "much ado about nothing" from reading a well written work of intellect!!!

          Please, someone tell me if it's just me, or not
          - damage_
          Name's damage_inc, and killing is my business. Don't worry though, it's nothing personal! Oh wait... maybe it is


          • #6
            I've read none of it cause, I am willfully ignorant and God hates me.