The first week of university was just a whirlwind of fresher’s parties and meeting different people. With so many people coming in everyday, making new friends became a daily occurrence. Setting up room took priority as well as our kitchen was completely decked out with all the cutlery/ utensils we would need for our daily needs.
After all the fun, we finally started studying. Beginning with Maddy' Readings.
Janet H.Murray, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology has a distinguished pedigree in the analysis of the different forms of narrative. Hamlet on the Holodeck is one of her prominent works focusing on the future of Narrative in Cyberspace, a.k.a. the digital medium. Since the digital medium is at its infancy in comparison to the timeless classical paperback approach, Murray focuses on the unpalatable social scrutiny the digital medium is subject to. Chapter 2 - This chapter specifically focuses on forerunners responsible for ushering in the age of the Holodeck. Murray refers to a multitude of different books and stories revolving around the evolution of narrative storytelling. She focuses on highlighting different channels trying to push the boundaries of traditional, two - dimensional linear storytelling. She provides an articulate depiction of how the world is slowly but surely moving towards an interactive future. After reading the entirety of the book, I have come to two conclusions. The first being, the world is moving more and more towards interactivity and choice-based decisions. The potency of third person storytelling has dwindled over the years. Presently, there are very few movies that aren’t comparable or inspired by its predecessors. The 20th century is well aware of the concept of multiple timelines and the prospect of branching possibilities. This particular awareness gives rise to the need to make one’s own path/story. Hence, the introduction of interactive stories which would lead the viewer on a journey of choice and self-inflicted conclusion. This is the onset of truly interactive media, I.e., games. And to make games, we need computers. Which have become the new pioneers of the evolution of digital narratives.
The introduction of interactive audiences, has opened a world of possibilities in terms of interaction and experience. Realizing the realm of possibilities with the introduction of three-dimensional media and story webs forms the base of the video game world.
A Narrative Theory of games focuses on key factors like the differences between Ludology, the study of games and Narrativism, focused on narratology. These two have been portrayed as two sides of the same coin. One trying to make a hybrid between game-story genre, and the other only focused on the conflicting nature of games having the capacity to tell stories. The definition of narrative in itself is outdated and needs an overhaul to include game narrative. Hence, the coining of the term Ludo-narrative wherein a games narrative is divided into four basic building blocks: World, Objects, Characters and Events. The variable existences of which creates a ludo - narrative. Traditional forms of theory should not be applied to games as it only hinders the breadth of content games provide. The application of narrative theory, though necessary is not enough to understand games.
Games and narrative focus on how games are being judged through the lens of books and movies. Using the same methods to judge movies and games cannot provide accurate answers. Judging an interactive form of media through the lens of a non – interactive media is the biggest fault the gaming industry critiques are facing. The writer then goes on the describe different types of narrative and storytelling. How they are tackled in movies VS games.
We were also told to play a couple of games and write our thoughts on them.
One of the first games we were told to play, Control. This game was made by Remedy Interactive, 2019. Remedy is well known for making games like Alan Wake, Quantum Break and the above mentioned Control. They usually push for the cutting edge of visuals and are regularly very combat focused.
They did the same with control, a completely combat focused game but with a small twist. Below I have provided a comprehensive review of the game and what works and what doesn't.
Control is a Third-person action-adventure video game by remedy entertainment that is visually stunning and presents the perfect combination of narrative gameplay and atmosphere, Remedy takes the best parts of its previous classics like Max Payne, Allen wake and quantum break and combines them into one masterpiece of a game. In control you play as Jesse Faden the new director of the federal bureau of control a secret us government agency tasked with defeating deadly enemies known as the hiss which has invaded and corrupted reality, you only get one gun in the entire game but it can be played as a pistol, shotgun or machine gun however the gun takes a backseat to all of the other interesting things you can do when you collect objects of power progressively throughout the game. The first one is telekinesis with which you can get really creative by using many different upgrades. Then you get a shield, a dash and the ability to control and possess enemies and right when the game starts to get stale, they hit you with a fly ability. Overall this game has great progression, a mesmerizing storyline, fun gameplay and a strange paranormal atmosphere that you just can't help but explore.
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH
Giant sparrows Bafta award winning masterpiece, What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative masterpiece showing how truly deep and declamatory gaming can make us as a simple viewer, feel. What remains of Edith Finch on the pure basic surface layer is about us as the player controlling and seeing the narrative unfold from the eyes of Edith Finch as she plans to find out how every one of her family members has died due to the curse that inevitably consumes each member of the family. What remains of Edith Finch is without a doubt my game of the generation and having only played it as of recently is single-handedly my favourite game I've already played this year and diving deeper into the game it all becomes more and more abundantly clear why this narrative masterpiece is truly so great. In many ways the fact that What Remains of Edith Finch is only 120 minutes long, further beckons the journey you and Edith have going through this game as you go through this emotional rollercoaster of unravelling and learning other finches each and their final soliloquy. The game isolates you and narrates, so each story played out makes you feel something on a much more deep and personal level. But for many, hits home in a much deeper way that any other forms of media simply can't. They do this and by they I mean Giant Sparrow make you take control of the characters for each individual action so you almost have a sense of accountability leaving you wondering if you could have done something else to prevent the following actions. What Remains of Edith Finch deliberately does this to make you as the player see through the eyes of what the people you are controlling have had to go through to reach their final actions. What Remains of Edith Finch even up until its last on-screen minutes is a truly beautiful yet harrowing spectacle of how deep and impactful any form of media can make us feel, from the beautifully handcrafted soundtrack that can simply absorb the players whilst going through this story to the ornate yet tragic world you go through with Edith. The game is simply a telling of tragic stories with no real happy ending even up until the end, when we see stories of a drug dependent user not being able to cope with the real world he lives in to seeing the spiral of them and being in control of his final steps up until he takes his own life. What Remains of Edith Finch without a doubt is one of my favourite games I've played throughout my years of gaming with its beautiful story, world and soundtrack there is truly nothing like What Remains of Edith Finch. And certainly not a game where it will leave such a deep impact as I'm sure many can relate to something within these characters and stories that are being shown to us as a player.