Involvement, Interruption, and Inevitability: Melancholy as an Aesthetic Principle in Game Narratives

Abstract (in English): 

Although many issues about how we can construct and analyze electronic narrative remain to be settled, it is clear, then, that a central concern will be the ability of these game narratives to create the emotional impact inherent in our involvement in a story. Emotional involvement is especially important for the interactive text because the user must be prompted to act and move through the text to a degree not required by more traditional reading. In this essay, I would like to consider how electronic narratives balance interactivity and emotional force. Doing so means thinking about emotional involvement and its relation to narrative teleology, as well as its tolerance for interruption by everything from writerly asides to interactive play. To investigate this, I will draw not only on hypertext and computer games but also on American metafiction, which I will show confronts the same problems of emotional force within interactive or game-like patterns. (Source: Introduction to the essay)

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Eric Dean Rasmussen