Huh….what do you know! I think I’ve gone around for weeks now thinking “Whan idiotic immature academics! What an absolutely ridiculous discussion to waste time on! Of course one does not survive the other! They’re dependent on one another!”
Then today, as I’m sitting in a posh office trying to look like I’m doing something important while the phone rings about once every hour, it hit me! I think I’m a bloody narratologist. And I say ‘bloody’ cause I really don’t want to be….I wanna be a Ludologist….but this is my take on the whole thing:
I completely and whole heartedly agree that the ‘gameplay’ aspect is incredibly relevant for digital games. Infact… it goes hand in hand with the narrative. But if I can go so far as to say that it is the narrative of a game that creates the aesthetics….not the game play design (hmmm….there’s a new word for contemplation), I might as well say that it is the aesthetics that creates much of the rules of the game as well. I keep thinking about game designers at the drawing board….now….computer nerd geeks or not…..I really don’t think the designers of Tomb Raider sat there and just discussed codes and gameplay….I’m quite sure they started off with a narrative! And I’m very certain that there were some excited voices in the room as Lara Croft was being created! So it is my belief that it is the narrative that creates the game play. Now….I’m not saying that Tomb Raider wouldn’t be fun with a different story….but with the same actions (as if that doesn’t exist), but that’s what makes it even more fun! Oh dear….this really is a messy subject. But I’ll try to go on!
I keep coming back to FPS (First Person Shooter) games and how incredibly mindless they can be….with no direct story telling involved….just shoot whoever you want to….but yet again…I come back to the aesthetics of the game….they are a part of a narrative. When you see blood as a result of you shooting, when you can’t go anywhere cause you’re trapped….I believe all of this is narratological….and the pure play aspect (dangerous word to use, I know) becomes “What do I do now….if you can’t come up with anything…you quit and you want to start over to make yourself a hero or villain (whatever mood you’re in that day, LOL) by overcoming all obstacles the narrative/game design throws at you.
But I understand what ludologist mean, however. As I’m playing GTA: San Andreas I really couldn’t care less about what type of people I’m killing. Sometimes I had trouble getting on with the story (bad joystick hands) and I just went around killing people for fun to see how much money they had, how much they fought a.s.o. Not once did I think over any moral issues, which narratologists do way toooooooo much, in my opinion. I certainly didn’t feel at one with CJ. But I often sat there hunched, like you do and screamed “Yeah, die motherf***er. Die.”
I think a lot of people hide behind game theory or ludology to dodge questions like “Are games harmful?” and embrace narratologists who say that you are playing a story.
ROTFL! Lost? LOL, so am I! Just need to air out some stuff going on in my head without referring to much to academia as well! But then again…I write this right after understanding I’m not a professional….yet….so go easy on me! Anyways….I don’t really think anyone reads this little blog but me….and that’s good enough for me!!! ;)