En digital hjälte? : En klassisk narratologisk analys av ett nytt medium – tv-spelet som medietext

by Ståhl, Daniel

Abstract (Summary)
The digital games take an increasing part of our western society. The time when gaming was excluded to the most frantic computer fans is long gone. Today the gaming industry competes with both the film- and music industry for the consumers’ attention.Despite this, research regarding the digital games has been put aside for a long time. But there is an ongoing process in establishing game studies regarding content and expression aspects that go beyond the question about possible psychological effects and such. But this process is still young and disagreements occur concerning how the games should be approached as an object of study.This debate, originating from two different approaches; the narratological and the ludological, has proven to be central to the research society. To reach a better understanding regarding storytelling within the digital games I carried out a narratological analysis of a video game; Shadow of the Colossus for Playstation 2. I used classical narratological tools regarding the syntagmatic structure of storytelling; Propp’s characters and functions and Todorov’s equilibrium formula.To be able to carry out this analysis the first step was to identify the storytelling elements of the game so that these could be properly recognized. After that the narratological tools were applied to these. In order not to neglect the medium specific characteristics that the digital games hold, I implemented a minor ludological analysis of its rules, to see how these were connected with the potential storytelling.The narratological analysis proved to be useful; a number of Propp’s functions were identified and the storytelling could also be described on the basis of Todorov’s equilibrium. Furthermore a clear connection between the storytelling of the game and the ludus rules, meaning the rules that define the winning conditions and how to reach them. The classic narratological analysis was fruitful, but the medium specific characteristics with systems of rules and their connection to the storytelling elements proved to be an important relationship to illustrate further.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:narratology narratological analysis propp video game computer ludology


Date of Publication:02/15/2008

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