Why Gamers Are Not Narrators
Contribution to Book
Videogames are like novels or films, and unlike oil paintings or marble sculptures, in being "ontologically multiple", that is, there are many different genuine "instances" of a single videogame. Like musical works for performance, and unlike novels or films, the different instances of a videogame differ in artistically relevant ways. If the story of a videogame is largely a matter of the fictional events that occur, and the order in which they occur, during a playing of the game, then the gamer—the player-audience of the game—is partly responsible for that narrative. This chapter argues that although many video-games are rightly characterized as interactive narratives, the players of such games are not (co-)narrators of the stories manifested in the "interactive films" produced in part by their gameplay. There are fictional narrators and actual narrators, and while both come up in what follows, the chapter focuses on the question of whether gamers are actual (co-)narrators of the stories manifested in their playthroughs.
Jon Robson & Grant Tavinor
Kania, A. (2018). Why gamers are not narrators. In J. Robson & G. Tavinor (Eds.), The aesthetics of videogames (pp. 128-145). Routledge. http://doi.org/10.4324/9781315210377-9
The Aesthetics of Videogames