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Reading Games and Playing Books: Storytelling and Videogames by Dr Souvik Mukherjee

Graphically realistic and often provoking us to explore deeper questions, video games have changed from simplistic beat-em-ups to more thought-provoking media through which stories can be shaped and retold. Although both traditional humanities and information technology struggle with this notion, video games are a storytelling media. Recent trends in humanities criticism and in computing recognise the synergy between the disciplines. Gaming is no longer all about creating shooters such as ‘doom’; video games have changed in concept, have entered social networking platforms and are increasingly beginning to comment on real-world issues. In terms of software development the storytelling game has made it imperative to study the player’s responses; how players interact with the game-world and innovate strategies are of key importance to designing successful game play. As far as the humanities are concerned, the game-narrative can make us rethink philosophical problems and to think about inherent linkages between games, stories and machines.

The aim of this talk is to raise questions regarding the storytelling aspect of video games rather than coming up with any set conclusions. It also explores how understanding this new storytelling could result in the creation of eminently more innovative and arguably, more marketable gaming software.

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