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Narratology - Slide 1


  • pg 1
									Game idea development

  Ludology vs. Narratology
       (and Concept)
        Ludology vs. Narratology

• Differing approaches to video game studies.
• There are many different frameworks that can
  be used, but the two most prevalent (or at
  least most argued) –
  – Ludology
  – Narratology

• A video game is first and foremost, a game.
  – It should be evaluated for its –
     • Rules
     • Interface
     • Concept of play
• Pure Ludology argues that plot, character, etc
  are irrelevant to gameplay.
  – “…the dimensions of Lara Croft's body, already
    analyzed to death by film theorists, are irrelevant
    to me as a player, because a different-looking
    body would not make me play differently...When I
    play, I don't even see her body, but see through it
    and past it.”
     • Espen Aarseth
         This is NOT a new idea
• And it is not exclusive to the game industry
               L'art pour l'art
• Art for art’s sake
• Art should be independent of all claptrap —
  should stand alone [...] and appeal to the
  artistic sense of eye or ear, without
  confounding this with emotions entirely
  foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism
  and the like
   – James McNeill Whistler
                Ad Reinhardt
• Art is Art. Everything else is everything else.
 Willem deKooning – Paint is as much a part of
            life as anything else.
1. I might be misattributing
this because I can’t find this
quote on the web

2. But this is the way I
remember it from my own

3. You could argue that this
work is about more than just
paint – it has a connection
with nature and spiritually

4. But the orgy of the paint is
what is first and foremost
with this era of deKooning’s
work and I think it is a good
example of art for art’s sake

5. This work celebrates paint.
       Theatre for theatre’s sake
– Improv everywhere
 Language for language’s sake.
– Goldsmith (we will watch the first 8 minutes)
           Arnold Schoenberg
 Abstract Expressionist Composer
 When asked by his superior in the military – are
  you the notorious Schoenberg he said “Beg to
  report, sir, yes. Nobody wanted to be, someone
  had to be, so I let it be me.”
 He did with music what deKooning did with paint
 His music is typified by the abandonment of key
  centers or “free atonality”
 Father of the twelve tone technique
• [French, from dada, child's word for a horse]
  Nihilistic movement in the arts that flourished
  chiefly in France, Switzerland, and Germany
  from about 1916 to about 1920. It was based
  on the principles of deliberate irrationality,
  anarchy, and cynicism and the rejection of
  laws of beauty and social organization.
       What a b what a b what a beauty

  What a b what a b what a beauty
  What a b what a b what a a
  What a beauty beauty be
  What a beauty beauty be
  What a beauty beauty beauty be be be
  What a be what a b what a beauty
  What a b what a b what a a
  What a be be be be be
  What a be be be be be
  What a be be be be be be be a beauty be be be
  What a beauty.
Kurt Schwitters

• The Medium is the Message
  – The title of the book is The Medium is the
    Massage – this is a misprint that an editor did not
    catch according to his official site.
          In class assignment
• The Exquisite Corpse
  Ok I think you get the picture about
             Ludology now.
• There are more examples from literature and
  theatre and whatever else you can think of….
• Language poets could be included here….
• I could go on forever and ever
• But I gotta stop somewhere
• Janet Murray’s “Cyberdrama” –
  – The major concern of video games is storytelling,
    derived from interactive fiction. Through a game,
    we seek to become a character in a story, or at the
    very least something other than ourselves.
  – She defines interactivity as the combination of
    the procedural and the participatory property
    which together afford the pleasure of agency.
            Lord of the Rings
       Narrative in art and music
• First of all – I think you are well aware of the
  narrative in games so I don’t want to spend
  class time on it
• So we will talk about art and music instead.
 Allegory is a form of extended metaphor, in
  which objects, persons, and actions in a
  narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie
  outside the narrative itself. The underlying
  meaning has moral, social, religious, or political
  significance, and characters are often
  personifications of abstract ideas as charity,
  greed, or envy.
 Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a
  literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.
        Allegory: The Lorax
• Literal: Story is about a guy who
  makes an industry on trees
• Symbolic: question of
  sustainable development
            The Voyage of Life
 Thomas Cole's elaborate series The Voyage of
  Life is presented as an allegory in four parts. The
  sequence follows the protagonist from infancy to
  youth, adulthood, and old age. The human
  voyage parallels the cycles in nature, including
  the times of day and the seasons.
 Not only is there a moral message of the need
  for salvation, but possibly also historical
  meaning--some observers relate the castle-in-
  the-air optimism of Youth to the abundance and
  promise of the young nation.
Childhood, Youth, Manhood, Old Age
  Political narrative: Murder of Edith
• George Bellows
• Protests the execution of a British nurse
  during World War I.
Political narrative: Francisco Goya
                  Napoleon occupied Spain in 1808, a lot
                  of Spaniards, including the Romanticist
                  Goya, hoped that the French would
                  bring in a number of liberal reforms.
                  Instead the French were barbaric. After
                  this Goya, now very bitter at the whole
                  experience focused his work on what he
                  perceived to be political tyranny. This
                  piece, created in 1814 is called The third
                  of May, 1808. It shows the execution of a
                  group of rioters who had rebelled
                  against the French. He portrays his
                  people as martyrs, like many religious
                  paintings that influenced his style of
                  work, and in so doing of course the
                  French, take on the role of the minions
                  of the devil
 The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from
• Benjamin West
       Siegfried and the Rhine Maidens
 Albert Pinkham Ryder
 The work depicts a scene in Wagner's opera
  Götterdämmerung, the last opera of Wagner's epic "Ring
 Ryder claimed, “I had been to hear the opera and went
  home about twelve o’clock and began this picture. I
  worked for forty-eight hours without sleep or food.”
 Lit by an eerie moon, the Rhine River nymphs recoil in
  horror when they realize that the German warrior Siegfried
  possesses their stolen, magic ring. After he refuses to
  return it, they predict that he will die violently.
 To evoke impending doom, Ryder devised tortured shapes,
  crusty textures, and an unearthly green color scheme.
   • Wagner
     – http://hodie-
   • Schoenberg
     – http://www.lunanova.or
               Richard Wagner
• Narrative music
  – Opera
• Controversial
  – Anti-Semitic
  – Appropriated by the Nazis
     • Superiority of the Nordic race
     • Mankind is doomed because of mixing of the races
  – Parsifal was seen as an opera that promoted
    racism and anti-semitism
   The story of Parsifal and the Holy Grail has survived in several forms that date from between 1170 and 1220.
    Wagner, who always wrote the words of his operas himself, used a mixture of several of these versions of the
    story to fit his ideas for the opera.
   Parsifal is a young man who is a “pure fool”, which means that he is an innocent, good man who slowly starts to
    understand the world. The Holy Grail is the cup from which our Saviour Jesus Christ is supposed to have drunk at
    the Last Supper. The Holy Spear is the spear which is supposed to have been the one with which the Roman
    soldier pierced Jesus’ side when he was put on the cross.
   The Holy Grail and the Holy Spear are sacred relics (things from the past) which have been given to Titurel and his
    band of Christian knights to look after. Titurel has built a castle, Montsalvat, high up on the forest rocks, to guard
   In particular, he has to watch out for Klingsor who lives nearby. Klingsor is a magician who has a garden full of
    beautiful flower-maidens. These maidens are in his power. One of them is Kundry. She has already been made to
    lure several young knights to Klingsor’s power. Even Titurel’s son, Amfortas, could not resist the lure of Kundry.
    His spear was taken from him and he was badly wounded before being rescued.
   At the beginning of the opera he is lying in pain. The only thing that could heal the wound would be the touch of
    the Holy Spear which Klingsor now has, and the only person who could get that spear back again is a “pure fool”,
    a young man who knows nothing about the evil of the world and who can resist the beauty of the flower-

   The story of Parsifal is an allegory. A lot of books have been written about the true meaning of the opera, but the
    general meaning is that the young man Parsifal represents Christianity, Klingsor represents Paganism. Christianity
    triumphs over Paganism.
          In class assignment
• Take your sentence from the exquisite corpse
  exercise and create a narrative for a game
 I am making this up you wont find anything
  written about it on the web.
   Because I think it is missing
   And it is needed by the game medium to reach its full
   And needed by the audience who wants more than
    just another toilet brush
 Purpose is king. It is everything. It determines
  gameplay, narrative, character development,
  level design, idea etc.
         Spectrum of purpose
• Theatre of the Absurd
• Purpose Driven Life
        The Theatre of the Absurd
 In the first edition of The Theatre of the Absurd, Esslin saw the
  work of these playwrights as giving artistic articulation to Albert
  Camus' philosophy that life is inherently without meaning as
  illustrated in his work The Myth of Sisyphus
 Samuel Beckett
    To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the
     artist now.
    Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
    What do I know of man's destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.
 The characters in Absurdist drama are lost and floating in an
  incomprehensible universe and they abandon rational devices and
  discursive thought because these approaches are inadequate
    Waiting for Godot
         The Least Equipped
            Trying and failing
• Reveal purpose
• Show the possibilities of path and outcome.
        Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

• “All true artists, whether
  they know it or not,
  create from a place of
  no-mind, from inner
• Purpose comes from
  within you.
         Search for meaning
            (as inspired by my brother, the pilot)

 Joseph Beuys gives direction for
 “Let's talk of a system
  that transforms all the
  social organisms into a
  work of art, in which
  the entire process of
  work is included...
  something in which the
  principle of production
  and consumption takes
  on a form of quality.
  It's a Gigantic project. “
            A life of purpose
• The point of the conceptualist is to make
  games with purpose
• Disclaimer – look beyond the religious
  comments and consider what he says about
What is in your hand?
          In class assignment
• Now take your exquisite corpse narrative and
  give it or identify its higher purpose.
 Preparation for the midterm: Be prepared to talk
  about where you fall conceptually as a game
  designer – Ludologist, Narratologist, or
    Tell us why.

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