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Multivariant Narratives
       Marie-Laure Ryan
Once upon a time, Dan gave a
presentation to ARIN6912...
Once upon a time, Dan gave a
  presentation to ARIN6912...
★Summary of Multivariant Narratives
Once upon a time, Dan gave a
  presentation to ARIN6912...
★Summary of Multivariant Narratives
★Critique
Once upon a time, Dan gave a
  presentation to ARIN6912...
★Summary of Multivariant Narratives
★Critique
★Position the art...
Once upon a time, Dan gave a
  presentation to ARIN6912...
★Summary of Multivariant Narratives
★Critique
★Position the art...
Once upon a time, Dan gave a
  presentation to ARIN6912...
★Summary of Multivariant Narratives
★Critique
★Position the art...
Summary:
Summary:
★ The way we tell and read stories is related to their
  material mediums
Summary:
★ The way we tell and read stories is related to their
  material mediums
★ Emergence of digital media coincides ...
Summary:
★ The way we tell and read stories is related to their
  material mediums
★ Emergence of digital media coincides ...
Summary:
★ The way we tell and read stories is related to their
  material mediums
★ Emergence of digital media coincides ...
Ryan’s Definition of Narrative
Ryan’s Definition of Narrative
★   Narrative: “medium-free, semantically
    based definition, according to which
    narrat...
Ryan’s Definition of Narrative
★   Narrative: “medium-free, semantically
    based definition, according to which
    narrat...
Ryan’s Definition of Narrative
★   Narrative: “medium-free, semantically
    based definition, according to which
    narrat...
Ryan’s Definition of Narrative
★   Narrative: “medium-free, semantically
    based definition, according to which
    narrat...
Ryan’s Definition of Narrative
★   Narrative: “medium-free, semantically
    based definition, according to which
    narrat...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
       1. Oral Age
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
         1. Oral Age
     2. Chirographic Age
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
         1. Oral Age
     2. Chirographic Age
         3. Print Age
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
         1. Oral Age
     2. Chirographic Age
         3. Print Age
         4. Digital Age
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                       1. Oral Age
                   2. Chirographic Age
                       3....
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
                     1. Oral Age
                 2. Chirographic Age
                     3. Print...
Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982)
★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission
★ Facilitated by prosodic features...
Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982)
★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission
★ Facilitated by prosodic features...
Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982)
★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission
★ Facilitated by prosodic features...
Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982)
★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission
★ Facilitated by prosodic features...
Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982)
★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission
★ Facilitated by prosodic features...
Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982)
★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission
★ Facilitated by prosodic features...
Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982)
★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission
★ Facilitated by prosodic features...
Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982)
★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission
★ Facilitated by prosodic features...
Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982)
★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission
★ Facilitated by prosodic features...
C20th Experiments:
C20th Experiments:
★ 1920s Dada Poetry
C20th Experiments:
★ 1920s Dada Poetry

★ 1941: “The Garden of Forking Paths” by JL Borges
C20th Experiments:
★ 1920s Dada Poetry

★ 1941: “The Garden of Forking Paths” by JL Borges

★ 1960ish: Cut-up Technique
C20th Experiments:
★ 1920s Dada Poetry

★ 1941: “The Garden of Forking Paths” by JL Borges

★ 1960ish: Cut-up Technique


...
C20th Experiments:
★ 1920s Dada Poetry

★ 1941: “The Garden of Forking Paths” by JL Borges

★ 1960ish: Cut-up Technique


...
Limits of pre-digital attempts at
multivariant narrative:
Limits of pre-digital attempts at
multivariant narrative:
 1. Theorised but did not deliver mulivariance (eg Borges)
Limits of pre-digital attempts at
multivariant narrative:
 1. Theorised but did not deliver mulivariance (eg Borges)

 2. ...
Limits of pre-digital attempts at
multivariant narrative:
 1. Theorised but did not deliver mulivariance (eg Borges)

 2. ...
The Digital Era
The Digital Era
★ Computer as more than just a medium for transmission
  or production of print texts
The Digital Era
★ Computer as more than just a medium for transmission
  or production of print texts

★ Digital narrative...
The Digital Era
★ Computer as more than just a medium for transmission
  or production of print texts

★ Digital narrative...
The Digital Era
★ Computer as more than just a medium for transmission
  or production of print texts

★ Digital narrative...
Properties of Digital Media
(relevant to narrative & textuality)
Properties of Digital Media
(relevant to narrative & textuality)

         1.
algorithm driven
Properties of Digital Media
(relevant to narrative & textuality)

        1.
algorithm driven
        2. reactive & intera...
Properties of Digital Media
(relevant to narrative & textuality)

        1.
algorithm driven
        2. reactive & intera...
Properties of Digital Media
(relevant to narrative & textuality)

        1.
algorithm driven
        2. reactive & intera...
Properties of Digital Media
(relevant to narrative & textuality)

        1.
algorithm driven
        2. reactive & intera...
Properties of Digital Media
(relevant to narrative & textuality)

        1.
algorithm driven
        2. reactive & intera...
Properties of Digital Media
(relevant to narrative & textuality)

        1.
algorithm driven
        2. reactive & intera...
3 Aspects of
Variable Narrative:
3 Aspects of
  Variable Narrative:
★Variable Discourse
3 Aspects of
  Variable Narrative:
★Variable Discourse
★Variable Point of View
3 Aspects of
  Variable Narrative:
★Variable Discourse
★Variable Point of View
★Variable Plot
Variable Discourse:
Variable Discourse:
★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple
  possible paths through a system of story fr...
Variable Discourse:
★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple
  possible paths through a system of story fr...
Variable Discourse:
★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple
  possible paths through a system of story fr...
Variable Discourse:
★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple
  possible paths through a system of story fr...
Variable Discourse:
★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple
  possible paths through a system of story fr...
Variable Point of View:
Variable Point of View:
★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives
Variable Point of View:
★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives
★ Key examples: some hypertexts, Interacti...
Variable Point of View:
★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives
★ Key examples: some hypertexts, Interacti...
Variable Point of View:
★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives
★ Key examples: some hypertexts, Interacti...
Variable Point of View:
     ★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives
     ★ Key examples: some hypertexts,...
Variable Point of View:
     ★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives
     ★ Key examples: some hypertexts,...
Variable Plot
★ Multiple outcomes, multiple paths for reaching them


★ Digital media allows for the development of simple...
Interactive Fiction
Interactive Fiction
★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based
  on affordances
Interactive Fiction
★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based
  on affordances
★ “the only room for variati...
Interactive Fiction
★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based
  on affordances
★ “the only room for variati...
Interactive Fiction
★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based
  on affordances
★ “the only room for variati...
Interactive Fiction
★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based
  on affordances
★ “the only room for variati...
Interactive Fiction
★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based
  on affordances
★ “the only room for variati...
First Person Shooter
First Person Shooter
★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than
  recounted by narrator
First Person Shooter
★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than
  recounted by narrator

★ Plot is infinitely ...
First Person Shooter
★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than
  recounted by narrator

★ Plot is infinitely ...
First Person Shooter
★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than
  recounted by narrator

★ Plot is infinitely ...
First Person Shooter
★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than
  recounted by narrator

★ Plot is infinitely ...
First Person Shooter
★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than
  recounted by narrator

★ Plot is infinitely ...
First Person Shooter
★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than
  recounted by narrator

★ Plot is infinitely ...
First Person Shooter
★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than
  recounted by narrator

★ Plot is infinitely ...
First Person Shooter
★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than
  recounted by narrator

★ Plot is infinitely ...
God Game
God Game
★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity
God Game
★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity

★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents
  in...
God Game
★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity

★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents
  in...
God Game
★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity

★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents
  in...
God Game
★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity

★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents
  in...
God Game
★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity

★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents
  in...
God Game
★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity

★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents
  in...
General Critiques
General Critiques
★ Inconsistent focus on print text as the subject of the
  inquiry. Only print examples of pre-digital m...
General Critiques
★ Inconsistent focus on print text as the subject of the
  inquiry. Only print examples of pre-digital m...
General Critiques
★ Inconsistent focus on print text as the subject of the
  inquiry. Only print examples of pre-digital m...
General Critiques
★ Inconsistent focus on print text as the subject of the
  inquiry. Only print examples of pre-digital m...
Theoretical Context
Theoretical Context
Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...)
Theoretical Context
Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...)
       ★What’s a game?
Theoretical Context
Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...)
       ★What’s a game?
       ★If some games...
Theoretical Context
Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...)
       ★What’s a game?
       ★If some games...
Theoretical Context
Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...)
       ★What’s a game?
       ★If some games...
Theoretical Context
Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...)
       ★What’s a game?
       ★If some games...
Theoretical Context
Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...)
       ★What’s a game?
       ★If some games...
Arin6912 Wk 11 - Multivariant Narratives
Arin6912 Wk 11 - Multivariant Narratives
Arin6912 Wk 11 - Multivariant Narratives
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Arin6912 Wk 11 - Multivariant Narratives

  1. 1. Multivariant Narratives Marie-Laure Ryan
  2. 2. Once upon a time, Dan gave a presentation to ARIN6912...
  3. 3. Once upon a time, Dan gave a presentation to ARIN6912... ★Summary of Multivariant Narratives
  4. 4. Once upon a time, Dan gave a presentation to ARIN6912... ★Summary of Multivariant Narratives ★Critique
  5. 5. Once upon a time, Dan gave a presentation to ARIN6912... ★Summary of Multivariant Narratives ★Critique ★Position the article in broader context
  6. 6. Once upon a time, Dan gave a presentation to ARIN6912... ★Summary of Multivariant Narratives ★Critique ★Position the article in broader context ★View some examples
  7. 7. Once upon a time, Dan gave a presentation to ARIN6912... ★Summary of Multivariant Narratives ★Critique ★Position the article in broader context ★View some examples ★Discussion
  8. 8. Summary:
  9. 9. Summary: ★ The way we tell and read stories is related to their material mediums
  10. 10. Summary: ★ The way we tell and read stories is related to their material mediums ★ Emergence of digital media coincides with a crisis in literature around truth and authority
  11. 11. Summary: ★ The way we tell and read stories is related to their material mediums ★ Emergence of digital media coincides with a crisis in literature around truth and authority ★ Digital media present new opportunities for the development of multivariant narratives
  12. 12. Summary: ★ The way we tell and read stories is related to their material mediums ★ Emergence of digital media coincides with a crisis in literature around truth and authority ★ Digital media present new opportunities for the development of multivariant narratives ★ BUT, “the creation of multivariant narratives depends on the existence of protocols that maintain linear coherence on the cognitive level…”
  13. 13. Ryan’s Definition of Narrative
  14. 14. Ryan’s Definition of Narrative ★ Narrative: “medium-free, semantically based definition, according to which narrative is a type of meaning or mental image generated in response to certain
  15. 15. Ryan’s Definition of Narrative ★ Narrative: “medium-free, semantically based definition, according to which narrative is a type of meaning or mental image generated in response to certain ★ Narrative script: “pictures a world situated in time and populated by intelligent agents” and the time span frames various states with accidental and/or deliberate actions
  16. 16. Ryan’s Definition of Narrative ★ Narrative: “medium-free, semantically based definition, according to which narrative is a type of meaning or mental image generated in response to certain ★ Narrative script: “pictures a world situated in time and populated by intelligent agents” and the time span frames various states with accidental and/or deliberate actions ★ Narrativity commonly lives in texts but can emerge from stimuli that are not narrative texts (eg from life itself)
  17. 17. Ryan’s Definition of Narrative ★ Narrative: “medium-free, semantically based definition, according to which narrative is a type of meaning or mental image generated in response to certain ★ Narrative script: “pictures a world situated in time and populated by intelligent agents” and the time span frames various states with accidental and/or deliberate actions ★ Narrativity commonly lives in texts but can emerge from stimuli that are not narrative texts (eg from life itself) ★ Narrative is not only linear (or possibly multi- linear), but vectoral, must be followed from beginning to end.
  18. 18. Ryan’s Definition of Narrative ★ Narrative: “medium-free, semantically based definition, according to which narrative is a type of meaning or mental image generated in response to certain ★ Narrative script: “pictures a world situated in time and populated by intelligent agents” and the time span frames various states with accidental and/or deliberate actions ★ Narrativity commonly lives in texts but can emerge from stimuli that are not narrative texts (eg from life itself) ★ Narrative is not only linear (or possibly multi- linear), but vectoral, must be followed from beginning to end. ★ Narrative can be told (diegetic mode), Shown (mimetic mode), Enacted (embodied mode?)
  19. 19. THE HISTORY OF WRITING
  20. 20. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age
  21. 21. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age
  22. 22. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age
  23. 23. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age
  24. 24. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves...
  25. 25. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique
  26. 26. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique
  27. 27. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable
  28. 28. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience
  29. 29. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience
  30. 30. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience Widely distributed
  31. 31. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience Widely distributed evanescent
  32. 32. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience Widely distributed evanescent
  33. 33. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience Widely distributed evanescent durable
  34. 34. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience Widely distributed evanescent durable
  35. 35. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience Widely distributed evanescent durable evanescent/durable
  36. 36. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience Widely distributed evanescent durable evanescent/durable Digital texts are durable in that they are recorded but subject to unstable platforms.
  37. 37. THE HISTORY OF WRITING 1. Oral Age 2. Chirographic Age 3. Print Age 4. Digital Age material support of language moves... unique freely copiable Live audience Widely distributed evanescent durable evanescent/durable
  38. 38. Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982) ★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission ★ Facilitated by prosodic features (eg rhyme, metre, alliteration), story formulas, standardised images, etc. ★ Unit permutation possible.
  39. 39. Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982) ★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission ★ Facilitated by prosodic features (eg rhyme, metre, alliteration), story formulas, standardised images, etc. ★ Unit permutation possible. Written Cultures (first manuscipts, later facilitated by print) ★ Epic, permutable plots frozen in fixed sequence. ★ Mnemonic devices made obsolete. ★ Narrative length increased. ★ Spatiality of the page enables use of layout, font, graphics, etc.
  40. 40. Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982) ★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission ★ Facilitated by prosodic features (eg rhyme, metre, alliteration), story formulas, standardised images, etc. ★ Unit permutation possible. Written Cultures (first manuscipts, later facilitated by print) ★ Epic, permutable plots frozen in fixed sequence. ★ Mnemonic devices made obsolete. ★ Narrative length increased. ★ Spatiality of the page enables use of layout, font, graphics, etc.
  41. 41. Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982) ★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission ★ Facilitated by prosodic features (eg rhyme, metre, alliteration), story formulas, standardised images, etc. ★ Unit permutation possible. Written Cultures (first manuscipts, later facilitated by print) ★ Epic, permutable plots frozen in fixed sequence. ★ Mnemonic devices made obsolete. Narrative length increased. The Novel ★ ★ Spatiality of the page enables use of layout, font, graphics, etc.
  42. 42. Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982) ★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission ★ Facilitated by prosodic features (eg rhyme, metre, alliteration), story formulas, standardised images, etc. ★ Unit permutation possible. Written Cultures (first manuscipts, later facilitated by print) ★ Epic, permutable plots frozen in fixed sequence. ★ Mnemonic devices made obsolete. Narrative length increased. The Novel ★ ★ Spatiality of the page enables use of layout, font, graphics, etc.
  43. 43. Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982) ★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission ★ Facilitated by prosodic features (eg rhyme, metre, alliteration), story formulas, standardised images, etc. ★ Unit permutation possible. Written Cultures (first manuscipts, later facilitated by print) ★ Epic, permutable plots frozen in fixed sequence. ★ Mnemonic devices made obsolete. Narrative length increased. The Novel ★ ★ Spatiality of the page enables use of layout, font, graphics, etc. C20th Epistemological Crisis of Authority
  44. 44. Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982) ★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission ★ Facilitated by prosodic features (eg rhyme, metre, alliteration), story formulas, standardised images, etc. ★ Unit permutation possible. Written Cultures (first manuscipts, later facilitated by print) ★ Epic, permutable plots frozen in fixed sequence. ★ Mnemonic devices made obsolete. Narrative length increased. The Novel ★ ★ Spatiality of the page enables use of layout, font, graphics, etc. C20th Epistemological Crisis of Authority
  45. 45. Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982) ★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission ★ Facilitated by prosodic features (eg rhyme, metre, alliteration), story formulas, standardised images, etc. ★ Unit permutation possible. Written Cultures (first manuscipts, later facilitated by print) ★ Epic, permutable plots frozen in fixed sequence. ★ Mnemonic devices made obsolete. Narrative length increased. The Novel ★ ★ Spatiality of the page enables use of layout, font, graphics, etc. Pre-digital Experiments in Multivariant Narrative C20th Epistemological Crisis of Authority
  46. 46. Oral Cultures (see Ong, 1982) ★ Narrative as mnemonic device for knowledge transmission ★ Facilitated by prosodic features (eg rhyme, metre, alliteration), story formulas, standardised images, etc. ★ Unit permutation possible. Written Cultures (first manuscipts, later facilitated by print) ★ Epic, permutable plots frozen in fixed sequence. ★ Mnemonic devices made obsolete. Narrative length increased. The Novel ★ ★ Spatiality of the page enables use of layout, font, graphics, etc. Pre-digital Experiments in Multivariant Narrative “...the idea of making the text endlessly self- C20th renewable, of capturing infinity in its necessarily bounded body, of turning the work Epistemological of art from a static self-identical object into a Crisis of Authority matrix of possibilities.”
  47. 47. C20th Experiments:
  48. 48. C20th Experiments: ★ 1920s Dada Poetry
  49. 49. C20th Experiments: ★ 1920s Dada Poetry ★ 1941: “The Garden of Forking Paths” by JL Borges
  50. 50. C20th Experiments: ★ 1920s Dada Poetry ★ 1941: “The Garden of Forking Paths” by JL Borges ★ 1960ish: Cut-up Technique
  51. 51. C20th Experiments: ★ 1920s Dada Poetry ★ 1941: “The Garden of Forking Paths” by JL Borges ★ 1960ish: Cut-up Technique ★ 1960 - Present: OuLiPo
  52. 52. C20th Experiments: ★ 1920s Dada Poetry ★ 1941: “The Garden of Forking Paths” by JL Borges ★ 1960ish: Cut-up Technique ★ 1960 - Present: OuLiPo
  53. 53. Limits of pre-digital attempts at multivariant narrative:
  54. 54. Limits of pre-digital attempts at multivariant narrative: 1. Theorised but did not deliver mulivariance (eg Borges)
  55. 55. Limits of pre-digital attempts at multivariant narrative: 1. Theorised but did not deliver mulivariance (eg Borges) 2. Relied on “chunking”, which can be aleatory (eg Cut-up)
  56. 56. Limits of pre-digital attempts at multivariant narrative: 1. Theorised but did not deliver mulivariance (eg Borges) 2. Relied on “chunking”, which can be aleatory (eg Cut-up) 3. Relied on branching, which has limited possible outcomes and maintains authorial control (eg Choose Your Own Adventure)
  57. 57. The Digital Era
  58. 58. The Digital Era ★ Computer as more than just a medium for transmission or production of print texts
  59. 59. The Digital Era ★ Computer as more than just a medium for transmission or production of print texts ★ Digital narrative is shaped by both the material medium (hardware), and the “affordances of the system through which it is created and executed” (software)
  60. 60. The Digital Era ★ Computer as more than just a medium for transmission or production of print texts ★ Digital narrative is shaped by both the material medium (hardware), and the “affordances of the system through which it is created and executed” (software) ★ Digital texts can be kaleidoscopic (Murray 1997), producing a vast number of versions from a limited number of elements
  61. 61. The Digital Era ★ Computer as more than just a medium for transmission or production of print texts ★ Digital narrative is shaped by both the material medium (hardware), and the “affordances of the system through which it is created and executed” (software) ★ Digital texts can be kaleidoscopic (Murray 1997), producing a vast number of versions from a limited number of elements ★ Digital technology presents opportunity for the development because it allows for conditional branching of plot lines: IF...THEN...ELSE - GOTO
  62. 62. Properties of Digital Media (relevant to narrative & textuality)
  63. 63. Properties of Digital Media (relevant to narrative & textuality) 1. algorithm driven
  64. 64. Properties of Digital Media (relevant to narrative & textuality) 1. algorithm driven 2. reactive & interactive
  65. 65. Properties of Digital Media (relevant to narrative & textuality) 1. algorithm driven 2. reactive & interactive 3. performantial aspect
  66. 66. Properties of Digital Media (relevant to narrative & textuality) 1. algorithm driven 2. reactive & interactive 3. performantial aspect 4. multimedia
  67. 67. Properties of Digital Media (relevant to narrative & textuality) 1. algorithm driven 2. reactive & interactive 3. performantial aspect 4. multimedia 5. network capability
  68. 68. Properties of Digital Media (relevant to narrative & textuality) 1. algorithm driven 2. reactive & interactive 3. performantial aspect 4. multimedia 5. network capability 6. volatile signs
  69. 69. Properties of Digital Media (relevant to narrative & textuality) 1. algorithm driven 2. reactive & interactive 3. performantial aspect 4. multimedia 5. network capability 6. volatile signs 7. modularity
  70. 70. 3 Aspects of Variable Narrative:
  71. 71. 3 Aspects of Variable Narrative: ★Variable Discourse
  72. 72. 3 Aspects of Variable Narrative: ★Variable Discourse ★Variable Point of View
  73. 73. 3 Aspects of Variable Narrative: ★Variable Discourse ★Variable Point of View ★Variable Plot
  74. 74. Variable Discourse:
  75. 75. Variable Discourse: ★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple possible paths through a system of story fragments
  76. 76. Variable Discourse: ★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple possible paths through a system of story fragments ★ Key example is hypertext, a form of Interactive Fiction
  77. 77. Variable Discourse: ★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple possible paths through a system of story fragments ★ Key example is hypertext, a form of Interactive Fiction ★ Author can exert control on the local decisions of a reader (take option A or B), but not the global (the meaning the reader assembles from the combination of their decisions)
  78. 78. Variable Discourse: ★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple possible paths through a system of story fragments ★ Key example is hypertext, a form of Interactive Fiction ★ Author can exert control on the local decisions of a reader (take option A or B), but not the global (the meaning the reader assembles from the combination of their decisions) ★ Reader rarely reconstructs the entire narrative because they don’t visit every node
  79. 79. Variable Discourse: ★ Narrative organisation that allows the reader multiple possible paths through a system of story fragments ★ Key example is hypertext, a form of Interactive Fiction ★ Author can exert control on the local decisions of a reader (take option A or B), but not the global (the meaning the reader assembles from the combination of their decisions) ★ Reader rarely reconstructs the entire narrative because they don’t visit every node ★ Hypertext most successful when navigation of fragments has significance in relation to the text (eg Patchwork Girl, Victory Garden)
  80. 80. Variable Point of View:
  81. 81. Variable Point of View: ★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives
  82. 82. Variable Point of View: ★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives ★ Key examples: some hypertexts, Interactive TV
  83. 83. Variable Point of View: ★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives ★ Key examples: some hypertexts, Interactive TV ★ Can be used to illustrate subjectivity (eg A Long Wild Smile)
  84. 84. Variable Point of View: ★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives ★ Key examples: some hypertexts, Interactive TV ★ Can be used to illustrate subjectivity (eg A Long Wild Smile) ★ Shift in POV commonly seen in video games, can facilitate different modes of play (eg bird’s eye view for strategy vs first person for combat
  85. 85. Variable Point of View: ★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives ★ Key examples: some hypertexts, Interactive TV ★ Can be used to illustrate subjectivity (eg A Long Wild Smile) ★ Shift in POV commonly seen in video games, can facilitate different modes of play (eg bird’s eye view for strategy vs first person for combat ?!
  86. 86. Variable Point of View: ★ Reader has access to various characters’ perspectives ★ Key examples: some hypertexts, Interactive TV ★ Can be used to illustrate subjectivity (eg A Long Wild Smile) ★ Shift in POV commonly seen in video games, can facilitate different modes of play (eg bird’s eye view for strategy vs first person for combat ?! ★ Shift of POV in games is almost never shift in focalisation from one character to another - different category needed here?
  87. 87. Variable Plot ★ Multiple outcomes, multiple paths for reaching them ★ Digital media allows for the development of simple decision tree format of IF (interactivity purely selective) by allowing selective and productive user input ★ 3 examples: Interactive Fiction, First Person Shooters, God Games
  88. 88. Interactive Fiction
  89. 89. Interactive Fiction ★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based on affordances
  90. 90. Interactive Fiction ★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based on affordances ★ “the only room for variation lies in the player’s unsuccessful attempts”
  91. 91. Interactive Fiction ★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based on affordances ★ “the only room for variation lies in the player’s unsuccessful attempts” ★ May have multiple outcomes (ie plot variation)
  92. 92. Interactive Fiction ★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based on affordances ★ “the only room for variation lies in the player’s unsuccessful attempts” ★ May have multiple outcomes (ie plot variation) ★ Low re-playability
  93. 93. Interactive Fiction ★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based on affordances ★ “the only room for variation lies in the player’s unsuccessful attempts” ★ May have multiple outcomes (ie plot variation) ★ Low re-playability ★ Primitive example: Zork
  94. 94. Interactive Fiction ★ Parsing software interprets user input, responds based on affordances ★ “the only room for variation lies in the player’s unsuccessful attempts” ★ May have multiple outcomes (ie plot variation) ★ Low re-playability ★ Primitive example: Zork ★ AI Example: Facade
  95. 95. First Person Shooter
  96. 96. First Person Shooter ★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than recounted by narrator
  97. 97. First Person Shooter ★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than recounted by narrator ★ Plot is infinitely variable within a very limited diversity
  98. 98. First Person Shooter ★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than recounted by narrator ★ Plot is infinitely variable within a very limited diversity ★ High re-playability
  99. 99. First Person Shooter ★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than recounted by narrator ★ Plot is infinitely variable within a very limited diversity ★ High re-playability ★ Low recountability
  100. 100. First Person Shooter ★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than recounted by narrator ★ Plot is infinitely variable within a very limited diversity ?! ★ High re-playability ★ Low recountability
  101. 101. First Person Shooter ★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than recounted by narrator ★ Plot is infinitely variable within a very limited diversity ?! ★ High re-playability Why are these important values? ★ Low recountability
  102. 102. First Person Shooter ★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than recounted by narrator ★ Plot is infinitely variable within a very limited diversity ?! ★ High re-playability Why are these important values? ★ Low recountability
  103. 103. First Person Shooter ★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than recounted by narrator ★ Plot is infinitely variable within a very limited diversity ?! ★ High re-playability Why are these important values? ★ Low recountability
  104. 104. First Person Shooter ★ “Life Story” of the character is enacted, rather than recounted by narrator ★ Plot is infinitely variable within a very limited diversity ?! ★ High re-playability Why are these important values? ★ Low recountability ★ Example: CounterStrike
  105. 105. God Game
  106. 106. God Game ★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity
  107. 107. God Game ★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity ★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents in the world (human or machine)
  108. 108. God Game ★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity ★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents in the world (human or machine) ★ “The ludic pleasure of deciphering the logic of the system...cannot be separated from the narrative pleasure of watching the story unfold.”
  109. 109. God Game ★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity ★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents in the world (human or machine) ★ “The ludic pleasure of deciphering the logic of the system...cannot be separated from the narrative pleasure of watching the story unfold.” ★ Ryan argues balance of replayability & recountability
  110. 110. God Game ★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity ★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents in the world (human or machine) ★ “The ludic pleasure of deciphering the logic of the system...cannot be separated from the narrative pleasure of watching the story unfold.” ★ Ryan argues balance of replayability & recountability ★ Example: Civilization
  111. 111. God Game ★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity ★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents in the world (human or machine) ★ “The ludic pleasure of deciphering the logic of the system...cannot be separated from the narrative pleasure of watching the story unfold.” ★ Ryan argues balance of replayability & recountability ★ Example: Civilization ?!
  112. 112. God Game ★ Creates a dynamic model of a complex entity ★ World evolves as a result of interrelated actions of agents in the world (human or machine) ★ “The ludic pleasure of deciphering the logic of the system...cannot be separated from the narrative pleasure of watching the story unfold.” ★ Ryan argues balance of replayability & recountability ★ Example: Civilization ?! Is this an example of emergent narrativity, rather than an example of a narrative text?
  113. 113. General Critiques
  114. 114. General Critiques ★ Inconsistent focus on print text as the subject of the inquiry. Only print examples of pre-digital multivariance are offered, but selectively appeals to visual, procedural, embodied digital texts
  115. 115. General Critiques ★ Inconsistent focus on print text as the subject of the inquiry. Only print examples of pre-digital multivariance are offered, but selectively appeals to visual, procedural, embodied digital texts ★ Linear nature of narrative temporality is argued selectively,
  116. 116. General Critiques ★ Inconsistent focus on print text as the subject of the inquiry. Only print examples of pre-digital multivariance are offered, but selectively appeals to visual, procedural, embodied digital texts ★ Linear nature of narrative temporality is argued selectively, ★ Game knowledge seems dilettante-ish, fetishises narrative over ludic values.
  117. 117. General Critiques ★ Inconsistent focus on print text as the subject of the inquiry. Only print examples of pre-digital multivariance are offered, but selectively appeals to visual, procedural, embodied digital texts ★ Linear nature of narrative temporality is argued selectively, ★ Game knowledge seems dilettante-ish, fetishises narrative over ludic values. ★ Does not take into account meta-narratives (including parallel, alternate narratives)
  118. 118. Theoretical Context
  119. 119. Theoretical Context Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...)
  120. 120. Theoretical Context Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...) ★What’s a game?
  121. 121. Theoretical Context Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...) ★What’s a game? ★If some games have narratives, and narrative fiction is becoming interactive, how far can existing models of narratology go towards analysing them? What new models arise?
  122. 122. Theoretical Context Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...) ★What’s a game? ★If some games have narratives, and narrative fiction is becoming interactive, how far can existing models of narratology go towards analysing them? What new models arise? Convergence Culture/Transmedia (Jenkins)
  123. 123. Theoretical Context Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...) ★What’s a game? ★If some games have narratives, and narrative fiction is becoming interactive, how far can existing models of narratology go towards analysing them? What new models arise? Convergence Culture/Transmedia (Jenkins) ★How do narratives operate across, as well as within texts and platforms?
  124. 124. Theoretical Context Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...) ★What’s a game? ★If some games have narratives, and narrative fiction is becoming interactive, how far can existing models of narratology go towards analysing them? What new models arise? Convergence Culture/Transmedia (Jenkins) ★How do narratives operate across, as well as within texts and platforms? Beyond Postmodern Deconstruction (?)
  125. 125. Theoretical Context Narratology vs Ludology debates (Juul, Bogost, Murray...) ★What’s a game? ★If some games have narratives, and narrative fiction is becoming interactive, how far can existing models of narratology go towards analysing them? What new models arise? Convergence Culture/Transmedia (Jenkins) ★How do narratives operate across, as well as within texts and platforms? Beyond Postmodern Deconstruction (?) ★ SO WHAT? How does textual/narrative innovation promote social justice/progress/development?

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