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08 OCTOBER 2012

LUDOLOGY MEETS NARRATOLOGY: Similitude and differences between (video)games and narrative

"Literary theory and narratology have been helpful to understand cybertexts and videogames. Aristotelian Poetics [Laurel, 1993], Russian formalism [Porush and Hivner, ?], and poststructuralism [Landow, 1992] are some of the different perspectives that have been used to study the subject.

Some authors see cybertexts and videogames as a new form of or as an expansion of traditional narrative or drama. The fact is that these computer programs share many elements with stories: characters, chained actions, endings, settings.

However, there is another dimension that has been usually almost ignored when studying this kind of computer software: to analyze them as games.

The problems of using a 'game' perspective are many. Basically, traditional games have always had less academic status than other objects, like narrative. And because of this, game formalist studies are fragmented through different disciplines, and not very well developed.

In this paper we will propose to explore videogames and cybertexts as games. Our intention is not to replace the narratologic approach, but to complement it. We want to better understand what is the relationship with narrative and videogames; their similarities and differences."

(Gonzalo Frasca, 1999)

Frasca, Gonzalo (1999) 'Ludology Meets Narratology. Similitude and Differences between (Video)games and Narrative'. Originally published in Finnish in Parnasso 1999: 3, 365–71.

TAGS

1999 • Albert Sidney Hornby • Andre Lalande • Aristotelian Poetics • Aristotles Poetics • Brenda Laurelcausalitycausally relatedcausally related narrative events • chained actions • character • Claude Bremond • computer programme • computer software • cybertext • cybertexts • Daniel Vidart • David Porush • ending • Espen AarsethFILE (festival) • game formalist studies • game perspective • game studiesgame theorygames • George Landow • Gerald Prince • Gonzalo Frasca • Jean Piagetliterary theory • ludology • narrative and videogames • narratologic approach • narratologynew form • Oswald Ducrot • post-structuralism • Roger Caillois • Roland Barthes • Russian formalism • Schaeffer Jean-Marie • setting • similarities and differences • stories • studying games • Todd Hivnor • traditional drama • traditional narrative • Umberto Ecovideo gamevideogames

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 OCTOBER 2011

Aristotle: a whole composed of causal relationships

"Now, according to our definition Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete, and whole, and of a certain magnitude; for there may be a whole that is wanting in magnitude. A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something as some other thing follows it. A well constructed plot, therefore, must neither begin nor end at haphazard, but conform to these principles."

(Aristotle, The Poetics, Part VII, The Internet Classics Archive)

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TAGS

a whole • Aristotle • beginning • causal necessity • causal relationshipscausalitycausally related narrative events • character-centred causality • Classical narrativeEdward Tufte • end • haphazard • imitation of action • literaturemiddleplot • plot construction • Poeticsprinciplestragedy

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 OCTOBER 2011

The Shape of A Story: writing tips from Kurt Vonnegut

"A few years ago, Open Culture readers listed Slaughterhouse Five as one of your top life–changing books. But Kurt Vonnegut was not only a great author. He was also an inspiration for anyone who aspires to write fiction – see for example his 8 rules for writing fiction, which starts with the so–obvious–it's–often–forgotten reminder never to waste your reader's time.

In this video, Vonnegut follows his own advice and sketches some brilliant blueprints for envisioning the 'shape' of a story, all in less than 4 minutes and 37 seconds."

(Open Culture, 4 April 2011)

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TAGS

8 rules for writing fiction • authorblueprintcausally related narrative eventscurvefiction • good fortune • ill fortune • Kurt Vonnegutnarrativeplotscreenwritingshape • Shape of A Story • Slaughterhouse 5story • story beginning • story ending • story shapetipswriting tips

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 DECEMBER 2003

Patterns of Hypertext: complex webs of links

"The complexity and unruliness of the complex webs of links we create has frequently led to calls for "structured" or otherwise disciplined hypertext [33][20][75]. While calls for clearer structure have tried to avoid, consolidate, or minimise links, it is now clear that hypertext cannot easily turn its back on complex link structures. Where it was once feared that the cognitive burdens of large, irregular link networks would overwhelm readers, we find in practice that myriad casual readers flock to the docuverse. The growth of literary and scholarly hypertext, the evolution of the Web, and the economics of link exchange all assure the long–term importance of links."
(Mark Bernstein, Eastgate Systems, Inc.)

[33]. Robert J. Glushko, Design Issues for Multi–Document Hypertexts, in Hypertext'89. 1989, Pittsburgh. p. 51–60.
[20]. L. DeYoung, Linking Considered Harmful, in ECHT'90 – Hypertext: Concepts, Systems and Applications, S. Rizk, Andre. 1990, Cambridge Univ. Press: p. 238–249.
[75]. K. Utting and Nicole Yankelovich, "Context and orientation in hypermedia networks", ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems, 1989. 7(1): p. 58–84.

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TAGS

raided narrative • branching narrativecausally related narrative eventscontour • counterpoint • cycle • docuverse • douglas cycle • feint • hypertextJames JoycejoinJoycean hypertext • joyces cycle • link • Mark Bernstein • mirror world • missing link • montage • moulthrops move • navigational feint • neighbourhoodorderpattern • Rashomon • sieve • splitstory shape • Storyspace • structure • tangle • web • web ring
04 NOVEMBER 2003

Aristotle: tragedy is the imitation of an action

"Again, Tragedy is the imitation of an action; and an action implies personal agents, who necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought; for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves, and these– thought and character– are the two natural causes from which actions spring, and on actions again all success or failure depends. Hence, the Plot is the imitation of the action– for by plot I here mean the arrangement of the incidents. By Character I mean that in virtue of which we ascribe certain qualities to the agents. Thought is required wherever a statement is proved, or, it may be, a general truth enunciated. Every Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts, which parts determine its quality– namely, Plot, Character, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Song. Two of the parts constitute the medium of imitation, one the manner, and three the objects of imitation. And these complete the fist. These elements have been employed, we may say, by the poets to a man; in fact, every play contains Spectacular elements as well as Character, Plot, Diction, Song, and Thought.

According to Aristotle every tragedy has 6 parts, appearing in order from most important to least important: Plot; Character; Diction; Thought; Spectacle; Song."

(Aristotle)

1). Aristotle (350 B.C.E). 'Poetics', Part VI, translated by Samuel Henry Butcher.

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TAGS

actionAristotlecausally related narrative eventscharacterClassicaldiction • hierarchy of form • imitationplotPoetics • Samuel Henry Butcher • songspectaclethoughttragedy • Tragedy as imitation (Aristotle)
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