Date of Award

8-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Digital Production Arts

Advisor

Penna, Tony

Committee Member

Charney , Mark

Committee Member

House , Don

Committee Member

Davis , Tim

Abstract

After introducing the ludological and narratological sides of modern video game theory, we explain Ian Bogost's concept of procedural rhetoric. We go on to argue that procedural rhetoric in practice is a form of what Stephen Dinehart and others have called narrative design. Furthermore, we argue that narrative design principles fall into the Aristotelian, enthymematic form of knowledge creation. We then cite examples of effective narrative design in video games and show how they fit the enthymematic model. We conclude with a discussion of how the epistemic principles of narrative design are applicable to a transmedia design context and how they empower the user/player to become creator and author of their own transmedia texts.
We argue that as video games continue to evolve as an art form, so too must our understanding and scholarship thereof. By understanding the processes that games use to communicate, we can make better games. By making better games, we can not only grow the medium as an art form, but as we will see, we can engage players on levels outside of the played experience and enable them to become more thoughtful and creative people.

Included in

Communication Commons

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