Be the first to like this
From Storytelling to Story-playing
Intertextuality and Contexts of Production in Game Adaptation
This paper proposal is based on a study of game production in the context of cross-media strategies, and follows the adaptation journey of the Muddle Earth IP from a children’s book, into a BBC TV series, and finally into a game.
The research looks at the text and its production, drawing on empirical data from game-playing, interviews with producers and the analysis of design and production documents.
Game adaptations of narratives from other media are based not just hypertextually on their source texts, but also intertextually on other games and games conventions. Besides textual influences, game adaptations are also strongly shaped by ‘extratextual’ conditions of production (budgets, technology, editorial guidelines), all of which influence the ways in which game adaptations translate existing narratives.
The paper explores how storytelling devices in games both remediate older forms of media, but also create new ways of telling (or playing) stories. In this process, different source narrative elements are reused, enhanced or discarded – and mixed with ludic elements – through decisions shaped by commercial, editorial and other criteria, which ultimately define the final game text.
Steering away from outdated notions of ‘fidelity’ in adaptation studies, the paper proposes the concept of ‘brand consistency’ as an essential requirement of cross-media strategies, to achieve seamless audience experiences and maximize IP audiences across media.
The theoretical framework is derived from game studies, adaptation studies, intertextuality theory, narrative theory, and political economy.