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Narrative Theory. The Goal Orientated Plot and narrative theory. Critically review computer games and its narrative Apply narrative theory to your assignment Gather research to define narrative theory. Aims and Objectives. What did we do last week?.

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narrative theory

Narrative Theory

The Goal Orientated Plot and narrative theory

aims and objectives

Critically review computer gamesand its narrative

  • Apply narrative theory to your assignment
  • Gather research to define narrative theory
Aims and Objectives
assignment 1

You have been asked to explain the following areas (with illustrative examples):

  • Forms of storytelling
  • Game genres
  • Approaches
  • Representation
  • Emotional themes
  • Interactive story
  • Writing strategies
Assignment 1
what is narrative

Narrative is defined as

  • “a chain of events in a cause-effect relationship occuring in time” (Bordwell & Thompson, Film Art, 1980)
  • The way that stories are told, how meaning is constructed to achieve the understanding of the audience
  • Narrative in game is constructed through elements like lighting, sound, and mise-en-scene.
What is Narrative?

Mario: Save the Princess

  • Arkham Asylum/City: Stop The Joker
  • Mass Effect: Stop the Reaper invasion
  • Silent Hill: Find your wife
  • Halo: Stop the Covenant
  • Left 4 Dead: Survive
  • Portal: Escape the test chambers
vladmir propp theory of characters

Vladimir Propp’s theory was formed in the early twentieth Century.

  • 8 types of characters: the hero, the villain, the donor, the dispatcher (the messenger), the false hero, the helper, the princess and thefather.
  • He did not state these characters were all separate people e.g. the provider could also be the helper.
  • There are only 8 different character types and only 31 things they ever do (makes stories predictable)
  • Todays storytelling: The hero, the villain and the damsel in distress.
VladmirPropp theory of characters
apply propp s theory to metal gear solid

The hero – Solid Snake

  • The villain – Liquid Snake
  • The donor – Grey Fox/ Deep Throat/ Otacon
  • The dispatcher – The General Anderson
  • The false hero – Cyborg Ninja/Grey Fox
  • The helper – Grey Fox/ Deep Throat/ Otacon
  • The princess - Meryl
  • The father – Master Miller
Apply Propp’s theory to Metal Gear Solid
izetan todorov

Todorov suggested that conventional narratives are structured in five stages:

1. A state of equilibrium at the outset;

2. A disruption of the equilibrium by some action;

3. A recognition that there has been a disruption;

4. An attempt to repair the disruption;

5. A reinstatement of the equilibrium

allan cameron theory

Anachronic – Flashback (Assassin’s Creed)

  • Forking Paths – Contradictory narrative, alternative story (Deus Ex)
  • Episodic – a series of shorter stories that appear to be disconnected (Left 4 Dead)
  • Split Screen – screen split into two or more times to show separate events (Co-op game)
Allan Cameron Theory
levi strauss theory

Binary Opposition

  • Narrative tension is based on opposition or conflict.

This can be as simple as two characters fighting, but more often functions at an ideological level – e.g

  • Templars Vs Assassins
  • Zombies Vs Humans
  • Covenants Vs Alliance
  • Gears Vs Locusts
  • Horde Vs Alliance
  • MudokensVsGlukens
Levi Strauss Theory