Impact of technology on narratives

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Information about Impact of technology on narratives

Published on February 4, 2014

Author: ppolsinelli



We take a glimpse at the complex relation between technology and narratives.

Impact of technology on narratives Pietro Polsinelli @ppolsinelli • T

A superstitious belief is the belief in a privileged relation between narrative and paper books. Vast majority of our history there simply were no books. Maybe there will not be. Books are not essential components of happyness or culture; sorry  Oh books! Oh writers! 2

Technology Technology as as a barrier facilitation • T

Narratives through technology

Orality, Poems / Songs, Written. Only few can read and write. Most can read and write. Letters in the Roman Empire took two weeks to go across the empire. Technological evolution.

Technological evolution changed things. It gave universal access to information, lots of information, streaming information, formerly accessible to only a few. Changed reading habits, also life habits. It spread so quickly… This is…

"by 1500 1000 printing presses were in operation throughout Western Europe and had produced 8 million books.“

Age of the passive narrative

And then, Internet, social networks and videogames 10

Quality of narrative is independent of the medium. Good, meaningful narrative through Twitter, even Facebook. Melt-a-Plot: UI design includes motivation. 11


The games universe 14

Two different narratives through games

Self referential / Referring games Both may be good or bad. 17

Non played games. Dear Esther, Proteus, Journey 18

Games for change

Games for change 20

Ludo narrative dissonance 21

Oh how nice it is to work as a slave for this multinational 22

Playfied solutions “Gamification”. Bottle bank arcade. Somemtimes, unhealthy psychological consequences. Techniology of “fitting better”: technology for control (Foucault). Game play is instrumental to an external goal. 23 24

Learning & teaching with games from games 25

Cargo Bot Videogames are ideal for transmitting formal rules through concrete examples. This can cover a lot of ground. Also probe – test – rethink – probe cycle. 26

Search energy in a 3D environment. 27

The dark side 28

No narrative ideal, no purpose beyond monetization. Lenses in a skeleton: The Sims Social. 29

Measure, measure, measure. 30

Addiction by Design Natascha Schull 97% is given by the slot machine – study IT

Narrative for / in / from / out games 32

The Magic Circle: Huizinga, Johan. 1971. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. Boston: Beacon Press. 33

Which story? - user gameplay story - learning story - author scripted story - game generated story - describing the game (story as ux tool) Distinguish: emergent narrative vs. embedded narrative. 34

Classical media is not interactive: depends how you look at it. There is a branching reality, and videogames are rarely truly interactive. 35

“If one understands that storytelling for games has little or nothing to do with interactive storytelling one has already saved oneself a lot of trouble.” It goes in many directions. 36



Anti narrativism 39

There isn't one right way to include stories in games: Storyteller, Blackbar ... 40

The flow The blurry edge between challenging and too difficoult. There is the flow. We are tackling the tip of something complex. When we are kept at the margin of our abilities – it’s the flow graph. So its complex, there are exceptions everywhere. 41

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Author) 42

Stress based classification. 43

Koster – Deterding definition of fun. 44

“Fun is about learning in a context where there is no pressure” But in school there is, and there has to be, pressure. There is here a dynamic.! 45 46

Fun is learning - but learning is not always fun. “Fun is a feedback we get in the mind when absorbing patterns for learning purposes” Koster From “Theory of Fun” 47

Technology Technology as as a barrier: facilitation: creates breaks the (dangerous) language language games games

This breaks the language game, in an accessible way.

Beyond 50


Wittgenstein, Foucault, Kripke 52

My twitter stream is mostly dedicated to game design: A blog on game design 53

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