Games and narrative – Rezzed

In this discussion between experienced games writers at the ‘Rezzed’ (PC and Indie games) conference, the question of narrative and its role in games is explored through a variety of perspectives. Of particular interest to me is how the question of agency (a subject matter I recently discussed on my main blog) is tackled by writers of narratives in games because as they all readily admit, player agency is essential. The questions of if games should have linear narratives or if, as is suggested, the most exciting developments in narrative are taking place on and youtube is an argument that at its core is a question of agency. Although there will always be a place for both approaches to game narrative, this discussion is symbolic of a wider question of agency that has no definitive answer.

The question at stake here is what creates more meaning for the player. An epic story told flawlessly in a linear film format ? Or engaging gameplay that carries idiosyncratic meanings to its players that are impossible to fully design beyond an open ended premise?

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