Archive | November, 2010

Games teach us nothing

There is an unending stream to commentators praising or damning the educational potential of games in equal measure but hard, empirical evidence is still hard to find.  I thought I’d write a quick summary of papers for either camp.  Those in favour claim that games are “ideal learning environments” and  players demonstrate an “innate ability […]

Games, Narrative & Storytelling

Following my series on narrative formats, I thought it worth thinking a little about the relationship between narrative, storytelling and games more generally. Storytelling and narrative are central components in many forms of entertainment.  In traditional dramatic media, the authored story engages the viewer emotionally through a set sequence of predetermined pieces of information, like […]

Exploring Interactive Narrative – Simultaneous

I had thought that I would be able to conclude the series on interactive narrative with a flourish talking about 2-screen TV, this being the season for reality shows and all.  Alas, for reasons known best to the broadcasters, this year’s incarnations of Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice and others are bereft of the social […]

Creativity, Wooing Women and Disneyland

The evolutionary psychologist, Geoffrey Miller, has published many papers speculating about the development of human creativity – that is, why would we evolve in such a way that we create apparently wasteful artefacts such as art, poetry, humour and music?  According to Miller it is all about the Mating Mind – it’s peacock feathers and […]

1 in 3 a gamer

On the MCV website today, the UK trade body, UKIE, speculates that 1 in 3 of UK population is now a ‘gamer.’* I’m sure they are attempting to challenge and dispel the stereotype of the teenage boy hunched over a console in his bedroom. It’s the games industry’s attempt to mainstream and normalise gaming. Changing […]

Exploring Interactive Narrative – Dynamic

So far as we’ve considered interactive narratives, all the models have had one thing in common – a predetermined ending.  Like it or not, the authors of the experience have, more or less, decided when it ends.  Dynamic narratives offer users object-oriented storytelling which extends for as long as the user wants or the narrative […]

Exploring Interactive Narrative – Non-linear

As an alternative to the different routes between common events offered by parallel paths, non-linear narratives offer the user the chance to control the order of the stages between the beginning and the end of the experience. Again all the content is predefined but the user can sequence the material in a manner of their […]