Ame theory: Ludology versus Narratology.

Game theory: Ludology versus Narratology

There is ongoing debate between two academic viewpoints on game theories. Narrativist take the view that a game can be understood as a form of narrative. Ludologists take the view that a game needs to be understood in terms of its rules, interface, and also in terms of the concept of play.

A study into Ludology versus Narratology theories, compare and contrast the two theories based on the relationship between the game player and the game world, reference to history and development of video games. Discuss works of Ludologists and Narrativists to form an opinion on narrative and simulation, and whether or not video games are either, neither, or both.


Introduction (2000 words approx.)

- Explain the two theories what why who and when
- Brief history of video games (only if relevant to the two theories)

Main essay (6000 words approx.)

- Discuss Ludologist such as: Espen J. Aarseth, Jesper Juul, Gonzalo Frasca, Janet Murray, Lars Konzack
- Common arguments
* Games are not a part of the media landscape of movies, novels, theater etc.
* Game time is different from narrative time
* The relationship between the reader/viewer and the story world is different from the relation between the player and the game world

- Discuss Narrativist such as: Lev Manovich, Jay David Bolter, Richard Grusin
- Common arguments
* Everything is narrative
* Most gamers use narratives as introductions and backstories
* Games share certain elements with narrative

- Reference to different genre of game and demographics
- Reference to various games such as Final fantasy, The Sims, Tomb Raider, pong, Brain training, Wii games etc.
- Discuss  emergent narrative

Conclusion (2000 words approx)

- Answer question of narrative and simulation, and whether or not video games are either, neither, or both.
- Where they are going in the future
Harvard System of Referencing

1. Aarseth, Espen (1997) Cybertext. Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore & London: Johns
Hopkins.
2. Brooks, Peter (1984) Reading for the Plot. Design and Intention in Narrative. New York: Knopf.
3. Frasca, Gonzalo (2000): Ludology Meets Narratology: Similitude and differences between
(video)games and narrative. htm
4. Frasca, Gonzalo (2003): Ludologist Love Stories, Too: Notes From a Debate That Never Took Place.
In Copier, Marinka and Raessens, Jost (ed.) Level Up conference proceedings.
5. Helio, Satu (2004) Role-Playing: A Narrative Experience and a Mindset”. In Montola, Markus &
Stenros, Jaakko (ed) (2004) Beyond Role and Play. Tools Toys and Theories for Harnessing the
Imagination. Vantaa. Ropecon ry.
6. Juul, Jesper (2001) Games Telling Stories  a brief note on games and narratives.
Juul, Jesper (2003) The game, the player, the world: Looking for a heart of gameness. In Copier,
Marinka and Raessens, Jost (ed.) Level Up conference proceedings.
8. Mandler, Jean Matter (1984) Stories, Scripts and Scenes: Aspects of Schema Theory.
9. Rimmon-Kenan, Sholomith (1983) Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics. London and New York.
Routledge.
10. Ryan, Marie-Laure (2001) Beyond Myth and Methaphor: The Case of Narrative in Digital Media.
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