This volume puts forth an original theoretical framework, the ludonarrative model, for studying video games which foregrounds the empirical study of the player experience. The book provides a comprehensive introduction to and description of the model, which draws on theoretical frameworks from multimodal discourse analysis, game studies, and social semiotics, and its development out of participant observation and qualitative interviews from the empirical study of a group of players. The volume then applies this approach to shed light on how players’ experiences in a game influence how they understand and make use of game components in order to progress its narrative. The book concludes with a frame by frame analysis of a popular game to demonstrate the model’s principles in action and its subsequent broader applicability to analyzing video game interaction and design. Offering a new way forward for video game research, this volume is key reading for students and scholars in multimodality, discourse analysis, game studies, interactive storytelling, and new media.
Table of Contents
2 A Multimodal Approach to Ludonarratology
3 Theoretical Conceptualisation of the Ludonarrative Model
4 Ludonarrative Dissonance
5 Ludonarrative Resonance
6 Ludonarrative (Ir)relevance and the Player Experience
7 Methodological Considerations in the Ludonarrative Model
8 Narration I – Players’ Mental Models
9 Narration II – Video Game Narrative Analysis Framework
10 Gameplay I – Players’ Actions and Mechanics
11 Gameplay II – Loop, Phase Types, and Stage(s)
12 Video Games as Ludonarrative: Application and Future Directions
Weimin Toh teaches in the Department of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore. His main research areas are social semiotics, multimodal discourse analysis/multimodality, game studies and narratology. He is also interested in other research topics such as child language development.