Video Games and Storytelling: Reading Games and Playing by Souvik Mukherjee

By Souvik Mukherjee

The opportunity of games as storytelling media and the deep involvement that avid gamers think once they are a part of the tale should be analysed vis-à-vis different narrative media. This e-book underscores the significance of games as narratives and provides a framework for analysing the many-ended tales that frequently redefine actual and digital lives.

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Video Games and Storytelling: Reading Games and Playing Books

The potential for games as storytelling media and the deep involvement that avid gamers consider once they are a part of the tale has to be analysed vis-à-vis different narrative media. This e-book underscores the significance of games as narratives and gives a framework for analysing the many-ended tales that frequently redefine actual and digital lives.

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Furthermore, like Kafka’s writing in the early twentieth century, the computer game is not recognised as literature under the traditional norms. In that sense, it is truly ‘minor literature’. Two characteristics of minor literature, namely multiplicity and political immediacy (directly in ‘Persuasive Games’ and indirectly in other games like Grand Theft Auto), have already been recognisable in the computer game narrative. It is now necessary to look in more detail at the third. The collective enunciation of the researcher towards the canine species in Kafka’s ‘The Investigations of a Dog’ or that of the officer towards the machine in the penal colony in another story, takes place through the Deleuzoguattarian concept of ‘becoming’, already described in the context of Deleuze’s reading of Kafka.

Like other Deleuzian assemblages, the computer game plugs into various other assemblages, for example the economic-assemblage. Especially in massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs), the game links many individuals together through the Internet and the worlds that the game-developers create soon spawn and re-spawn into a network. As Edward Castronova (Castronova, 2005) comments, these ‘synthetic worlds’ develop their own economic systems, which then spill over into real economic systems, with virtual characters and game ‘property’ being auctioned on online markets like eBay.

Finally, they go on to describe the three main novels as parts where the machine is incarnated in very complicated social assemblages. Kafka’s conception of the novel is that of one that never stops developing its assemblages. These characteristics are certainly compatible with Deleuzoguattarian notions of the machinic and also of minor literature. The multiplicity, the intense involvement with the machinic processes and the many versions of the story are actually associated more commonly with another more recent form of machinic text: the computer game.

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