2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Does Narrative Disappear when the Story is Simulated? Locating Popular RPGs in the Narrative vs. Simulation Debate
Carli E. Wrisinger* and Garett L. Exline
Dr. Kristi Scholten, Faculty Mentor

Games studies scholars argue that because video games are sign-generators, traditional theories of representation are inadequate. They particularly target narrative theory, arguing that its top-down structure is too restrictive. We argue that postmodern perspectives of narrativity can bridge the gap between simulated representation and narrative ways of knowing. Thus, we seek to merge postmodern narrative theory and simulation theory to effectively explore the video game medium and explain the unique position of the gamer which merges the roles of artist, creator, narrator and participant. Having contemplated these various preexisting theoretical frameworks, we have proposed a theoretical model that may aid communication scholars in a more thorough understanding of the symbolic workings of video games. Presently, we are also in the process of applying the proposed model to role playing video games with the hopes that postmodern narrative theory will prove to be a constructive and productive method of analysis.

Keywords: communication, video games, narrativity, narrative, simulation

Topic(s):Communication

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 45-4
Location: VH 1228
Time: 3:30

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