Do video games tell stories? And if they do, how and why do they do so? In this study, Dominic Arsenault takes the reader through the battlefield of ludology and narratology in video game studies, and argues for a radically new narratological conception of the video game. Like a Starcraft Zerg Drone, he extracts ideas from the rich veins of new media and video game studies, along with the latest developments of narratology and French film theory, and morphs them in with his own personal historical insights and gameplay experience with video games and pen-and-paper role-playing games. The resulting theoretical approach finds that narration, as a process, is intrinsic to video game playing, independently of the “cut-scenes” usually much touted by the proponents of interactive storytelling. Academics with an interest in video game studies, narratology or new media will find here a novel perspective on a well-researched subject, while like-minded students and amateur, professional and prospective game developers will also appreciate the quick, efficient and readable introduction to these hot topics.
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