Interactive Narrative Blog 26/9

Day 2 – 26/9

Today in the lecture we had an introduction into narrative.

Narrative :

Narratives are ways to get across meanings or events with a structure, which can be applied into factual or fictional. They can apply too all forms of media. The stories of narratives tend to be different across different forms of media.

An example of factual Narrative is the news. They can tell about an event that happened recently in the world. Like a terrorist attack, which tends to not be followed in a timeline.

Where as fictional tends to follow a timeline and happens in order of time.

Key Theorist :

  • Vladimir Propp

he studied a number of examples around Russian Folk tales

His idea is that all characters can be grouped into 8 roles which is,

  • Villain

Evil and a obstacle that the hero needs to over come

  • Hero

Good and is often motivated by some goal

  • Donor

Who can provide and object that is often some kind of magical object. He will have some kind of item or information that will help the her

  • Helper

This person helps the hero in his journey

  • Princess

This is symbolic for the reward that the hero gets at the end of the story. Could be an object or a person.

  • Father of princess

The person who provides the reward

  • Dispatcher

Sends the hero on his initial quest and asks him to destroy the villain

  • False Hero 

Appears to be a good person but intact helps the villain

 

Applied  to a game –

Shadow of Mordor 

Villain –

Sauron Who is command of many Orc chieftain

Hero –

Tailon

Donor –

Celebrimbor who is a elf spirit that is trapped inside of Tailon’s body. He provides Tailion with multiple skills and powers that aid him in his journey to get revenge on Saurons forces

Helper-

The helper is an orc named ragbag who helps tailon get behind enemy lines and provides other bits of useful information. His is similar to a false hero but is intact a false villain that betrays the villain in order to help the hero

Princess-

Revenge for the loss off Tailon’s Family via Saurons

Father of princess-

This is a fairly differcault role to fill because no one can really provide revenge for his family, however Tailon can provide this to himself by completing his journey to revenge.

Dispatcher- 

Tailon is the his own dispatcher because he’s the one who wants to complete this mission for his own revenge.

False Hero- 

Gollum who’s is a creature that is corrupted by magic. he seems to want to help the hero throughout the story but in the end Gollum’s only purpose is to regain his lost treasure known as precious. Gollum would happily back stab anyone in order to get his lost item back.

 

 

  • Tzventan Todorov

He suggests that there are five stages of Equilibrium and Disequilibrium

This tends to be in a linear form that has a set beginning middle and end

The 5 stages are:

  • Equilibrium

This at the start where the world is in its normal state

  • Disruption

There is then some form of disruption that happens to change the equilibrium

  • recognise the issue

Where they realise there is a disruption

  • Fix the issue

After they realise there is a disruption they seek a way to amend this problem

  • A new equilibrium

This is after the issue has been solved and the situation goes into either the same equilibrium or a completely new one

Example 

Fable 3

Equilibrium

At the start of the game you are the brother of the king and live a fairly happy life in a rich family.

Disruption 

The king makes some very bad decisions that make the population turn against him and cause a rebellion. This makes the people want you to become king and the king doesn’t like this idea at all, so he tries to kill you but you escape and run away.

Recognise the Problem

The player realises that the king is corrupt and bad for the world.

Fix the problem 

You set out to aid the rebellion and over throw the king and his corrupt company.

New Equilibrium 

You become the king and choose your way to rule the land.

 

  • Roland Barthes 

He suggest that there one way a story can be told but that it has many threads running through it

There is no beginning middle or end but many points within the narrative

looking at the narrative from another perspective, many things are unknown and many other meanings can be got from narrative depending on how you look at it

5 codes

  • Hermeneutic / enigma 

mystery elements that are in the narratives but clues may be given. no clear answer, this can be frustrating for the audience with no clear resolve

  • Proairetic/Action

actions that tend to lead to a form of suspense within the narrative. expect that something is going to happen

  • Semantic 

This adds an extra layer of meaning to a narrative, which is a reference to something out.

  • Symbolic 

new meanings behind conflicting ideas usually two. can create tension and also create deeper meaning to the narrative

  • Referential

This is something that perceived to be concrete knowledge that can’t be argued against. it must be right because it is a know fact.

Example 

The Hobbit Trilogy 

Enigma –

The audience always has the feeling of not being sure wether or not the mission is going to a success. There are many moments where the group nearly get disbanded or killed. This causes a feeling of mystery that create a tension for the audience.

Action –

There are many fight scenes within the hobbit. There are also a lot of chase scenes that lead to suspense within the story. This is often done in some form of buildup, making the audience think something is going to happen.

Semantic –

There is a lot of lore behind the world of the lord of the rings and the hobbit. There are many references to past films or known facts abut the world to help the audience feel a realistic layer of meaning to make the world come alive. These can be rather subtle and not picked up by viewers who don’t know a lot about the world of these films.

Symbolic –

The one ring within the hobbit is a symbol for evil and brings out the worst within people. This makes tension between characters and for the audience itself because they know what the ring is capable of and what it is a symbol for.

Referential –

There are many concrete facts within the world of the hobbit such as they know what there task is on this journey. This helps the audience know with clarity that this adventure is going to happen and what there end goal is. it makes a firm foundations for the story and the characters.

 

 

  • Claude Levi-Strauss

 

he idea is Binary Oppositions

E.g Good vs Evil, Sane vs Insane

The narrative has different meanings depending on a certain viewpoint

example:

World of Warcraft the Film 

Within World of warcraft there are two factions that wage war against each other. for most people it is fairly straight forward that the humans are the good and orc and evil because of how relatable the humans are, however some people looking at it with another perspective may see the orcs as just trying to survive and may not be particularly the bad guys.

 

 

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