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The Game of Game of Thrones

The Transmedial World of A Song of Ice and Fire. Presentation at the Winter School "Transmedial Worlds in Convergent Media Culture", University of Tuebingen, February 24-28, 2014
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Felix Schröter

on 12 August 2015

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Transcript of The Game of Game of Thrones

Three Case Studies in Five Minutes
Game of Thrones
*Action RPG
Overview
(Almost No) Theory

Looking For Games
In All The Wrong Places

Three Case Studies
In Five Minutes

The Game of
Some transmedial worlds lend themselves particularly well to being instantiated as a video game, namely those that feature a distinctive
game logic
.

The novel-based transmedial world
of George Martin’s
A Song of Ice and Fire
is such a world.
(Almost No) Theory
Looking for Games In All The Wrong Places
The Game of Game of Thrones
The Transmedial World of
A Song of Ice and Fire
and its Video Game Installments

Medium Specificity Thesis
Limited Adaptibility Thesis
"A transmedia story unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole. In the ideal form of transmedia storytelling, each medium does what it does best […]"

- Jenkins 2006
Convergence Culture,
95-96
“While it is clear that stories can be passed between a novel and a movie and back, it is also clear that not everything passes equally well.”

- Juul 2005
Half-Real
, 48
“We do not want to claim that some media forms are better at presenting worlds than other, though we believe that each media form has particular advantages.”

- Klastrup/Tosca 2004
“Transmedial Worlds”, n. pag.
Medium
Specificity Thesis*
Video games contribute to the representation of transmedial worlds in a medium-specific way, relying on their distinctive combination of narrative, ludic, and social features.
“Most often, transmedia stories are based not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories.”

- Jenkins 2007
“Transmedia Storytelling 101”, n. pag.
Mythos:
the establishing conflicts and battles of the world

Topos:
setting (history and geography)

Ethos:
explicit and implicit ethics, world laws, characters' moral codex

- Klastrup/Tosca 2004
“Transmedial Worlds”, n. pag.
“However, the ultimate success of a transmedial cyberworld depends on how the designers are able to implement and expand on the
mythos
,
topos
and
ethos
of the
ur-transmedial world.”

- Klastrup/Tosca 2004
“Transmedial Worlds”, n. pag.
Limited Adaptability Thesis*
Not every transmedial world lends itself to being instantiated in every medium.
Today's Problem
If different media contribute to transmedial worlds in such a medium-specific way, that not every transmedial world is equally adaptable in every medium, then there must be some transmedial worlds that translate easily to video games while others do not.
“Such narratives reveal the arbitrariness of the particular choices made, and the possibility of making other combinations which would create alternative stories.”

- Kinder 2002,
“Hot Spots, Avatars, and
Narrative Fields Forever”, 6
Narrative and Game Logic I
“Die Figurengruppe eines Mehrfigurenspiels wird nicht […] aus den Merkmalen der Einzelfiguren konstituiert, sondern […] aus dem Spielziel, das unterschiedslos für die gesamte Figurengruppe gilt.”

- Venus 2007
“Teamspirit”, 314
Narrative and Game Logic II
“In contrast to most games, most narratives do not require algorithm-like behavior from their readers. However, narratives and games are similar in that the user, while proceeding through them, must uncover its underlying logic - its algorithm […] which the writer used to create the settings, the characters, and the events.”

- Manovich 2001
The Language of New Media
, 225
Narrative and Game Logic III
“A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome.”

- Salen/Zimmerman 2004
Rules of Play,
83
What is a game?
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
“The wars, the intrigues, the great bloody game, and me in the center of it.”
- Cersei Lannister,
A Game of Thrones
- Tyrion Lannister,
A Clash of Kings
“Too many strange faces, […] too many new players. The game changed while I lay rotting in my bed, and no one will tell me the rules.”
- Tyrion Lannister,
A Storm of Swords
“I might have to remove her from the game sooner than I’d planned. Provided she does not remove herself first. […] In the game of thrones, even the humblest pieces can have wills of their own. Sometimes they refuse to make the moves you’ve planned for them.”
- Littlefinger,
A Feast For Crows
Game of Thrones: Ascent
*Online/Facebook
Game of Thrones: Genesis
*RTS
Game of Thrones
Cyanide/Atlus 2012
Game of Thrones
Cyanide/Atlus 2012
Game of Thrones
Cyanide/Atlus 2012
Game of Thrones: Ascent
Disruptor Beam 2013
Game of Thrones: Ascent
Disruptor Beam 2013
Game of Thrones: Genesis
Cyanide/Focus
Home Interactive 2011
Game of Thrones: Ascent
Disruptor Beam 2013
Game of Thrones: Genesis
Cyanide/Focus
Home Interactive 2011
Game of Thrones: Genesis
Cyanide/Focus
Home Interactive 2011
Three Case Studies in Five Minutes
Game of Thrones
*Action RPG
Game of Thrones: Ascent
*Online/Facebook
Game of Thrones: Genesis
*RTS
Mythos

Topos

Ethos / Game Logic
felixjs
Felix Schröter
felix.schroeter@uni-hamburg.de

www.felixschroeter.de
Thank you!
Transmedial Worlds
in Convergent Media Culture
Winter School at the Graduate Academy of the University of Tuebingen, Germany
February 24th to February 28th, 2014
action role-playing game
set in parallel to
A Game of Thrones
gameplay alternating between two protagonists
focus on real-time combat, cut-scenes, dialogue, character progression
Game of Thrones
Cyanide/Atlus 2012
Game of Thrones: Ascent
Disruptor Beam 2013
Game of Thrones: Genesis
Cyanide/Focus
Home Interactive 2011
online/Facebook game
spans 3 books (yet):
A Game of Thrones

A Clash of Kings

A Storm of Swords
focus on 'social features', progression, time investment
real-time strategy game
starts 700 years before
A Game of Thrones,
but also covers books 1-3
single- and multiplayer mode
focus on resource management, underhand tactics, real-time combat
Full transcript