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Event-Sequences, Plots and Narration in Computer Games

by Fotis Jannidis

Starting with the debate between ludologists and narratologists this essay tries to show that there is a narrative aspect in computer games which has nothing to do with background stories and cut scenes. A closer analysis of two sequences, taken from the MMORPG Everquest II and the adventure game Black Mirror, is the basis for a distinction between three aspects of this kind of narrative in computer games: the sequence of activities of the player, the sequence of events as it is determined by the mechanics of the game and this sequence of events understood as a plot, that is as a sequence of chronologically ordered and causally linked events. This kind of narrative is quite distant to the prototypical narrative which is the basis of most of the narratology. But actually all media, not only computer games, need their own narratology.

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