Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by GB Steve, October 29, 2002, 12:40:36 PM
QuoteTo sort this out, we might start by going back to the distinction between story and narrative. Story, you will remember, is something that is delivered by narrative but seems (important word) to pre-exist it. Narrative, by the same token, is something that always seems (again, an important word) to come after, a re-presentation. Narrative, in other words, conveys story, and even if Culler and others are right that the storey doesn't really exist until it is conveyed, we still have the sense of the storey's pre-existence of the narrative that conveys it. If we to hold this useful distinction between storey and narrative, then neither life nor role-playing games qualify as narrative since their is no pre-existing storey. In this sense, role-playing games, like theatre improv, are like life itself.
QuoteIn a game, like a football game, for example, Aarseth argued that you have a sequence of actions but not a story. These actions, then, are not narrative actions, but "ergodic", this is, "a situation in which a chain of events... has been produced by nontrivial efforts of one or more individuals or mechanisms." In "adventure" or role-playing games, the "user" (not reader) to a degree creates by her of his own actions the ergodic chain of events, but only within the constraints of something that seems like a hidden story. Aarseth uses the term "intrigue" for this plot-like element that the user can only find out by making moves, that is creating events through action. Instead of a fixed story with a linear course, there are multiple possibilities, and that series that happens is recorded in the manner of a log: "Instead of a narrative consituted of a story or plot, we get an intrigue-oriented ergodic log."