jisunhur – rules
1) Explain the terms diegetic and extra diegetic as used in “A Touch of Medieval ”.
Diegetic refers to narrative that does not reference technology as we see it today. This narrative stays within the context of the realm that that the narrative takes place in. There are two catagories of diegetic narrative. The first is conventional narrative which is the plot, characters and dialogue. The second is metaphorically patched artifacts which is the realm’s own technology and use of it.
Extra diegetic is an unexplained narrative, or basically a plot hole. This falls into three catagories. Sanctioned artifacts are narratives that don’t make sense within the realm of the fantasy. Technological artifacts are unexpected gameplay mechanics that result from technology. And gameplayer artifacts are unexpected results from unsanctioned player participation.
2) Explain what is described as the central paradox of immersive narrative and computer technology.
The paradox is that today’s technology advances further to create a more immersible and believable fantasy, but that this fantasy tends to stray away from including technology in its world at all. You would think that as technology advances, so would the fantasy world’s due to the more complex systems that can be established.
3) From your own game playing experience, describe specific examples of the following narrative elements: a sanctioned artifact, a technological artifact, a gameplayer artifact, In addition, describe an example of a metaphorically patched artifact.
A sanctioned artifact is something that makes no sense, such as in Diablo 3, a small wand takes up the same amount of space as a giant chest armor piece.
A technological artifact is like a glitch, such as the dupe exploit in Diablo 2.
A gameplayer artifact is when a player exploits or cheats the system, such as botting in basically every MMORPG.
A metaphorically patched artifact is a technology that exists in the fantasy, such as steampunk.
4) Following the example and cultural arguments made in “A Touch of Medieval ..” for the emergence of magical fantasy games as a dominant genre, locate what you consider to be a common narrative game structure (for instance: particular historical wars, science fiction, city planning, sports gaming, arm chair general, horror…) and make a cultural argument as to why you believe this particular genre has emerged as a dominant game genre or theme.
The first person shooter genre has dominated the gaming culture due to the fact that as a whole, FPS’s are generally transferable. Therefore, if a player has played one FPS, its easier for them to learn to play another. FPS games are also easily made a competitive game which inherently increases the longevity and replay value of the genre. And most importantly, the mass influence of CoD has massively increased the popularity for the genre.
5) What do you think is the difficulty with designing a game that may be categorized as a “romance” game? This is a common genre found in film, theater, music and literature – why do believe games have not embraced this narrative structure?
Romance is a genre where the entertained person must be extremely engrossed in the story and plot. Thus, while possible, it is very hard to design a game that is both very fun to play and extremely engrossing. Most games generally fail to succeed in both aspects. Also added to the fact that romance movies are considered “chick flicks” because they cater to the woman’s emotions more than the man’s. Considering the fact that most people that play games are men, there is not a large audience for romantic games.
6) Following up on the previous question – what do you think are the limitations of the game medium in comparison to writing, film, television?
It is hard for games to create a linear storyline that movies and books can create. In movies and books, there is one storyline; there is one story being told from start to end and they can’t be altered or changed. Thus, the writer can create the story without any need to worry about the audience straying away from it. In games, however, the player can deter from the story and experience something entirely different from what the writer intended. Thus, the writer has to write a story that is flexible and can work no matter what. This problem blocks many genres from being well writen such as romances short stories without making a non-linear and flexible game. Thus, by attempting to keep a game fun for the player, it’s hard to write a concrete story to drive the player’s emotions as well. When a concrete story wants to be told, then a movie or book is a better medium to tell it as opposed to a game.
1. Diegetic is a term used for the storyline elements of a game – including items, characters, and background setting. Extra diegetic is a term for all other elements that assist in making a game playable, but do not necessarily make sense with the fantasy world that is created for the game.
2. The central paradox to MMORPGS lies with how the advancement of technology, a modern science, creates a more realistic, believable, and immersive rendition of historical or fantasy worlds, where modern technology is not present.
3. Sanctioned artifact – In World of Warcraft, a chestpiece or staff takes the same inventory space as a necklace or shard.
Technological artifact – In Pokemon, the easter egg/glitch of Missingno and being able to exploit that to duplicate items.
Gameplayer artifact – In Ocarina of Time, there is a glitch at the end of the first boss fight that allows you to get to the last boss fight and beat the game/see the credits.
4. I believe the horror genre has emerged successfully, in many ways simply because the medium is much more immersive than traditional entertainment like literature or film. You are forced to control something about the game, so you are forced to experience the environment that the game developer has created for you. There is no skimming pages or covering your eyes if you want to skip a certain part. Horror-themed games are accessible to players all over the world – fear is an international emotion.
5. I feel romance games are difficult to design because of how most games are fundamentally single player. Being good at a game has direct connections with aspects of courage (defeating a boss), intelligence (solving a puzzle), and cleverness (planning the correct sequence of things to do). When a player beats or wins a game, this correlates with them having increased their skill in one way, or their skill was better than the player they were competing against. With romance games, there isn’t a clearcut way to link a skill or gameplay mechanic with “good at romance”. Thus, games are limited to having their romantic aspect unfold through background story or cutscenes. Even with great team-based/multiplayer mechanics, there is no real way to develop romantic emotion purely through co-op gameplay. From my experience, finding that you have chemistry with another player in a team game is always nice and earns respect and comradery, but it doesn’t garner or create emotions. I think it is possible for successful romantic games to be created, but it must be done in a clever way.
6. A game requires interactivity, so it requires a player to be actively making choices. Even in RPGs with a rich storyline, cutscenes are limited and add on to the background of why you are currently farming slimes. Since there is no mechanic that directly makes you feel emotion/romance, it feels like you would have to have a lot of cutscenes to create the sense of romance, and gameplay could actually end up detracting from feeling the romance created from the cutscene. I feel that since television, film, and literature are more passive activities, romance is actually better conveyed.