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Authored Agency: Exploring the Language and Grammar of Video Games

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Title: Authored Agency: Exploring the Language and Grammar of Video Games
Author: Kwan, Allen
Department: School of English and Theatre Studies
Program: English
Advisor: Filewod, Alan
Abstract: This thesis is an examination of narrative structure of single-player story-driven video games, shifting the focus toward the exploration of their design and methods by which game designers and authors are able to use the language of interactivity in order to convey meaning to a video game player. Although the role of the player is important in examining video game narratives, it is only recently that scholars and critics have begun to examine the role that the game designer has in creating the conditions that allow for meaning to be created in the first place. This thesis examines the narrative structure of video games by exploring the major attempts to define a language of video games and using this criticism to suggest a greater shift toward considering how many moments of interactivity are purposefully designed in order to encourage a specific interpretation of the game’s narrative. The thesis surveys a significant number of video games to help illustrate how player interactivity is specifically authored and uses this survey to provide context for a more in depth discussion of major single-player story-driven video games released in the last few years. This thesis concludes that a new framework for studying narratives in video games and authoring video game narratives is needed, suggesting that moments of carefully controlled interactivity are the building blocks of the language of video games.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9493
Date: 2016-01
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada