Advertisement

Narrative Urgency: Motivating Action in Interactive Digital Media

  • Bjørn Anker Gjøl
  • Niels Valentin Jørgensen
  • Luis Emilio BruniEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11869)

Abstract

In this paper, we address specific problems related to the temporal development of narratives in games and interactive media in general. Game narratives can be inconsequential when they progress isolated from coherent temporal aspects, which in turn affects the possibility for pacing and experiencing a dramatic arc. The problem arises when the agency afforded to the players leads them to pursue non-narrative activities, which “put the story on hold”.

We introduce the concept of narrative urgency in interactive narratives as a means of discussing and avoiding this issue. While ‘agency’ is the potential to act in interactive narratives, ‘urgency’ would be the desire to do so in the narrative context. This may serve as a starting point for designers to explore how players can be motivated to take actions that enable optimal narrative coherency and enhance suspension of disbelief.

Keywords

Interactive digital narratives Narrative-driven games Storytelling Narrative time Time frames Temporality Urgency Agency 

References

  1. 1.
    Szilas, N., Estupiñán, S., Richle, U.: Automatic detection of conflicts in complex narrative structures. In: Rouse, R., Koenitz, H., Haahr, M. (eds.) ICIDS 2018. LNCS, vol. 11318, pp. 415–427. Springer, Cham (2018).  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-04028-4_49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bizzocchi, J.: Games and narrative: an analytical framework. Loading 1(1), 5–10 (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Harrell, D.F., Zhu, J.: Agency play: dimensions of agency for interactive narrative design. In: Proceedings of the 2nd AAAI Spring Symposium on Intelligent Narrative Technologies, pp. 156–162 (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wardrip-Fruin, N., Mateas, M., Dow, S., Sali, S.: Agency reconsidered. In: DiGRA 2009 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference. Brunel University (2009)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Stern, A.: Embracing the combinatorial explosion: a brief prescription for interactive story R&D. In: Spierling, U., Szilas, N. (eds.) ICIDS 2008, vol. 5334, pp. 1–5. Springer, Heidelberg (2008).  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-89454-4_1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Domsch, S.: Storyplaying : Agency and Narrative in Video Games. Wordware Publishing (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ryan, M.L.: From narrative games to playable stories: toward a poetics of interactive narrative. Storyworlds: J. Narrat. Stud. 1, 43–59 (2009)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bruni, L.E., Baceviciute, S.: Narrative intelligibility and closure in interactive systems. In: Koenitz, H., Sezen, T.I., Ferri, G., Haahr, M., Sezen, D., C̨atak, G. (eds.) ICIDS 2013. LNCS, vol. 8230, pp. 13–24. Springer, Cham (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02756-2_2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zagal, J.P., Mateas, M.: Temporal frames: a unifying framework for the analysis of game temporality. In: Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play. The University of Tokyo (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ricoeur, P.: Time and Narrative, vol. 1, 1st edn. University of Chicago Press (1990)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Toolan, M.: Narrative: Linguistic and Structural Theories, 2 edn, pp. 459–473. Elsevier Science (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chatman, S.: Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film, 1st edn. Cornell University Press (1980)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Genette, G.: Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Cornell University Press (1980)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Juul, J.: Introduction to game time. In: First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game, pp. 131–142. MIT Press (2004)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Herman, D.: Basic Elements of Narrative, 1st edn. Wiley, Hoboken (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ryan, M.L.: Cambridge companions to literature. In: Toward a definition of narrative, pp. 22–36. Cambridge University Press (2007)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Coleridge, S.T.: Biographia Literaria (1817)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjørn Anker Gjøl
    • 1
  • Niels Valentin Jørgensen
    • 1
  • Luis Emilio Bruni
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Augmented Cognition LabAalborg University CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations