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Mathias Poulsen

on 4 February 2013

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Transcript of Games & STORYTELLING

Spil og fortællinger Video games are incredibly powerful and sophisticated. Despite all of its history and baggage (all those WWII rifles and Pokémon are no insignificant burden) the video game is arguably the singular unique medium that can be considered a container for all other media that came before it Forskellige strukturer Analysemodeller "Interactivity is almost the opposite of narrative; narrative flows under the direction of the author, while interactivity depends on the player for motive power" --Ernest Adams

"There is a direct, immediate conflict between the demands of a story and the demands of a game. Divergence from a story's path is likely to make for a less satisfying story; restricting a player's freedom of action is likely to make for a less satisfying game." --Greg Costikyan

"Computer games are not narratives....Rather the narrative tends to be isolated from or even work against the computer-game-ness of the game." --Jesper Juul

"Outside academic theory people are usually excellent at making distinctions between narrative, drama and games. If I throw a ball at you I don't expect you to drop it and wait until it starts telling stories."
--Markku Eskelinen Krig på fortællefronten? Currently in game and digital culture studies, a controversy rages over the relevance of narratology for game aesthetics. One side argues that computer games are media for telling stories, while the opposing side claims that stories and games are different structures that are in effect doing opposite things.
Espen Aarseth Critics, scholars, and parents alike have found many reasons to dislike/criticize video games. One argument is that the medium cannot tell a story; much current theory centers on what many perceive as an incompatibility between gaming and storytelling Out of game - through cut-scenes, mission briefings, documents "found" by the player, and the like;
In-game: this is the most desirable kind, storytelling occurs through interaction with the game-world, through non playing characters' behaviour, dialogue, etc;
External materials: such as a game manual or a website. Bud på en vej fremad In MGS4, yes, I put everything in the cut sequences, which I kind of regret to some extent, because maybe there is a new approach which I should think about. I'm always thinking about it -- making it interactive but at the same time telling the story part and the drama even more emotionally. I would like to take that approach, which I am still working on. But why haven't we achieved that perfect synthesis of gameplay and narrative yet? Why have there always been compromises and stilted combinations of the two? Are we too naive, or just not smart enough as game developers to figure it out? Or is it something else? "ET SPIL KAN SAGTENS HAVE EN RÆDSELSFULD HISTORIE OG STADIGVÆK VÆRE SKIDEGODT" The argument that cutscenes are dead as a narrative form in games has been spread far and wide. The sense that we must push the medium toward a form of interactive narrative that is as strong and vital as the innovations in other areas of gameplay and technology has taken hold with many creators. There is an ongoing battle between two videogame factions: the ludologists, who believe that game mechanics are everything, and the narratologists, who argue for the importance of story. Narrative games like Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil usually drive the plot forward through non-interactive animated sequences. The ludologists see this technique as anathematic to the gameplay experience; narratologists say it adds depth and direction
Keith Stuart, The Guardian ...udflugt i et minefelt Spilinstruktør Karsten Lund fra IO Interactive delte Andreas Gregersens skepsis mod fremvisning af filmiske mellemsekvenser og anså det end da for en falliterklæring: "Når vi er nødt til at vise en film, så er det, fordi vi har et problem med at fortælle historien."

Men i følge Lund er filmsekvenser ikke kun en nem udvej. Hele princippet er for omklamrende, for "spillerne bliver sure, når de opdager, at de spiller en historie, de vil skabe en historie. Hvis historien er for god, så synes de at de bliver talt ned til."

Selv Lunds kollega, spilmanuskriptforfatter Oliver Winding var helt med på at underordne historien spillets gameplay. Et spil, mente Winding, "skal ikke starte med et manuskript men med et gameplay. Du kan lave et spil med en rædselsfuld historie, som er skidegodt." Eksempelvis er det interessant at iagttage computerspillene frigøre sig fra gamle mediers formsprog. Det er naturligt for nye medier at lægge sig i skyggen af de gamles succes – megen tidlig film var f.eks. ‘filmet teater‘. På samme måde mente mange spildesignere at vejen frem for computerspillet var at opdyrke teknikker til at fortælle historier. En overgang udkom ganske glimrende ‘interaktive fortællinger‘, men meget spil var der ikke over dem. Problemet var selvfølgelig at jo mere historie man har, jo mindre spil har man.

Jo mere forløbet er fastlagt på forhånd, jo mindre interaktivitet – og jo færre ægte valg – kan spilleren arbejde med ... stories will always be things that people want to be told. So should videogames totally abandon their current model of prescripted story line interrupting interactive play? Not necessarily. While it certainly does not amount to "interactive storytelling", it can still work remarkably well on its own account, under the same circumstances as any good story: when it is well written. A good videogame story provides a powerful external motivation (external to the actual gameplay mechanics) for continuing to try to beat the system. A well-scripted game, such as Metal Gear Solid, keeps you playing because fundmentally [...] you just want to know what happens next. What we want in general from a videogame story is not interactive narrative at all, but a sophisticated illusion that gives us pleasure without responsibility. [...] If we can further choose to do certain things, and so see certain episodes of the story in a different order, then fine - but we don't want to have to make crucial narrative decisions that might, in effect, spoil the story for us. We want to have our cake and eat it too. the work of the so-called ludologists does not reject narrative, nor it wants to finish narrative elements in videogames. […] I think that it is understandable that, because of the early stages of our field, such misconceptions have arisen.
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