Professor Carolyn Jong
As the title of week 3 , “LUDOLOGY VS NARRATOLOGY”, states, the main topic of the articles read for that week raised the question of whether video games and games in general are narratives or not. In the first article “Games Telling Stories? A Brief Note on Games and Narratives.”, Jesper Juul wrote about making the distinctions between the narrative and the video games. To do so he had to evaluate the similarities and differences between the two. He said that similarly to the films or theatre, the video game usually has a problem or a problem to solve, that most video games have protagonists, that the experiences can be linear, that the participant’s “experience is so strong that people will involuntarily change position when encountering interactivity”, in other words, the experience will make your body move. Some differences from both mediums can be the translation of games and stories are not the same when it comes to games and any other medium, and any other medium with each other. The conflict of the present moment and the prior of the narrative, and the relations between the readers with the story, and the player with his game are ways in with video games cannot translate the same way. The reader and viewer can only theoretically envision alternatives to the already linear story, but the player has the chance to see alternatives to what could have happened at any moment during the experience.
In Janet Murray’s “The Last Word on Ludology v Narratology in Game Studies.”, she downright stated that narratives and games are two different things, but she still insisted that they do share some common aspects. In her article, she focuses on the origins of Ludology and Narratology, and then debates on which one of them can be appropriated to the games and stories.
I believe video games can have narratives even for games like tetris where there is no protagonist or calculated sense of time. When I play tetris I feel like im organizing block and then putting them away when they are well-packaged. It does in fact have a protagonist, it is not named but it is present in the game, just not physically. Maybe like an omnipotent protagonist that is just manipulating matter correctly so they can be processed out of the way. Tetris is like a constant climax, just like how films like Crank are. All you need to do is go and survive. Go where? I do not know where to go but I know how to survive. It is that type of narrative.
The game Every day The Same Dream is having a bunch of scenes from a movie and editing it your own way to make a movie, because the ending will always be the same and the way to get there too, but the order in which you want to go about it depends on the player. So the narrative stays linear but yet stays malleable.