There is not a great deal published exploring our notions of game storytelling in high-level abstract terms, so it gives me great pleasure to shill the new white paper published by PJ's Attic entitled Games and Storytelling: A Working Definition of Storytelling that Encompasses New Media. You can download the white paper directly from here, or from their publications page here.
The white paper sets itself the goal of providing specific definitions for Narrative, Plot and Story that together provide a new perspective on the storytelling process, thus allowing for a better understanding of what can be achieved in interactive (or even participatory) story. As games such as Spore highlight the increasing focus being placed upon the player contribution to their own play, this is a timely examination of the potential of the medium of games for creative narrative purposes.
Here's an extract:
Once the audience receives the narrative, the true storytelling experience begins. Storytelling is a communication. It does not happen in a vacuum. You can write novels, design games, or film movies your entire life, but if it does not end up in the hands of an audience, you're not really storytelling. Any analysis of games or other narrative media that does not take into account the audience's participation is incomplete and lacks relevance.
I'm honoured to be referenced in the paper; it's a great privilege to be mentioned alongside such luminaries as Umberto Eco and Marshal McLuhan. Quite a change of pace from someone who previously denounced the writings of dead intellectuals!