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Berättelsens labyrinter: Interaktiv fiktion och dess narrativa aspekter
Södertörn University, School of Gender, Culture and History.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay examines the narrative aspect of interactive fiction. The study uses Janet H. Murrays analysis of the digital environment and the properties of it as procedural, participatory, spatial and encyclopedic. From this, her three characteristic pleasures in digital narratives - immersion, agency and transformation - are examined from the perspective of interactive fiction. The study also examines Nick Montforts analysis of interactive fiction as a potential narrative and a simulated world or environment. His comparison of interactive fiction with the literary riddle is also used in regards to puzzles and other game-related aspects in interactive fiction as a part of storytelling. Furthermore, the essay uses Espen J. Aarseths analysis on ergodic text and non-linearity to place interactive fiction in a tradition of participatory texts not necessarily bound to the computer.

The essay show how the repeated and sudden nature of death in interactive fiction poses a potential problem in its aspiration to create a cohesive storytelling experience. Death can however be used as an aid in other narrative aspirations, such as humour. Furthermore, the participatory aspect of interactive fiction can create a meaningful and strong emotional response to the death of non-player characters.

The essay also show how interactive fiction may use puzzles and other challenges as a method to create suspense and drama. The quality of interactive fiction as a simulated world enables it to create mazes and related experiences based on spatial navigation. Especially it underlines its capacity to in this manner portrait abstract concepts such as bureaucracy in a convincing and literal way.

Finally the essay proposes that interactive fiction can be viewed as a bridge between traditional literary texts and the new digital texts of computer based entertainment. The essay therefore suggests that interactive fiction, with its expressed literary ambitions, is especially qualified as a starting point for understanding computer games as a capable storytelling tool. Further studies on interactive fiction may help reach a deeper understanding of the narrative qualities of computer games.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 32 p.
Keyword [en]
computer games, interactive fiction, digital environment, simulated world, narrative
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-15297OAI: diva2:490508
Subject / course
Comparative Literature
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-02-06 Created: 2012-02-05 Last updated: 2012-02-06Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Jakob
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