Macquarie University
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The impact of video game interactivity on the narrative

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posted on 2022-03-28, 02:52 authored by Cameron Edmond
As the video game medium's emphasis on narrative evolves, an adequate framework for its study becomes necessary. The video game medium's interactivity separates it from established frameworks of literature and film studies, with video game academics classifying games as “simulations” rather than “representations”. In response, this thesis will construct a framework tailored to the video game narrative, drawing on Vladimir Propp and Joseph Campbell's studies of mythology and folklore, as well as narrative theory and game studies (Ludology). This thesis employs Propp and Campbell's work to analyse the Bioshock series and assemble “The Video Game Monomyth”, unveiling the impact of video game interactivity on the narrative. Three key “characters” of the Video Game Monomyth will be analysed. “The Player-Hero” represents both the protagonist and the player, demonstrating the entry point of interactivity into the text. “The NPC Goddess” refers to the force that facilitates the player’s entrance into the text, while also demonstrating representations of women in video games. “The Game World” reveals how the actions of the video game text itself filters the impact of interactivity on the narrative. Through this study, this thesis hopes to create a framework for deployment in future studies of video game narratives.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. The player-hero: a hollow sphere -- Chapter 2. The NPC goddess: a bridge between spheres -- Chapter 3. The game world: the ultimate controller of interactivity -- Conclusion.


The Appendix section of this thesis has been omitted due to copyright restrictions. It contains video game screenshots. Bibliography: pages 79-85 "This thesis is presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Research at Macquarie University".

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of English

Department, Centre or School

Department of English

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Ryan Twomey

Additional Supervisor 1

Geoff Payne


Copyright Cameron Edmond 2015. Copyright disclaimer:




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