Game Dissonance (1): What is Game Dissonance?
Game Dissonance (3): Elegant Narrative Design

Game Dissonance (2): The Aesthetic Flaws of Videogames

Over on ihobo today, part two of the serial on Game Dissonance. Here's an extract:

We generally fail to recognise that our engagement with most game systems is in itself a story-generating activity, because all game systems are representative i.e. they ask that we imagine some specific arrangement. It is precisely because games are inherently representative that we make the mistake of thinking there is an unavoidable clash between stories and games - but we mean by 'story' here 'a story in the style of a movie or TV show' i.e. a screenplay. The problem is not and never has been an insuperable gap between games and stories, it is that the stories created by screenplays diverge dramatically from the stories that game systems produce on their own. Sometimes this tension is felt as rupture (the imagined experience collapses), sometimes as inelegance (Hocking's complaint about Bioshock is more of this kind), but in all cases it is game dissonance.

You can read the entirety of The Aesthetic Flaws of Videogames over on ihobo.com

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