Introduction: Video Games and Storytelling
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Imagine being told to ‘start this mission by entering the red marker at the Johnson House’ (GTA Net, 2015) and then as you, Carl Johnson or CJ, meet your brother Sweet, a rival gang performs an unexpected drive-by shooting and you are to ‘hop on a bicycle and follow Sweet, repeatedly tapping “X” to build up momentum’ (GTA Net, 2015). Is this a story, is it another violent episode in a soap opera or is the reader being mistaken for a member of a real-life criminal gang? The uninitiated reader will probably be having serious doubts about what is happening in the above quote. At first sight, this extract seems to be the story of a certain gangster, Carl Johnson; if it is, then the story strangely seems to be waiting for the reader to create all the events that follow. You, the player (or reader, one could say), are suddenly thrown into someone else’s story and are expected to continue the tale. The part about ‘repeatedly tapping “X” to build up momentum’ makes it seem even stranger: it is as if, besides all the possibilities described above, there is also some kind of interaction with a machine. Given this hybrid scenario, the reader must be excused if she does not guess that this is an extract from a ‘walkthrough’, or a set of possible strategies for playing the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar North, 2004).
KeywordsMobile Phone Video Game Game Designer Soap Opera Game Rule
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