this post was originally published
Conference paper: “The Role of Micronarrative in the Design and Experience of Digital Games”, Jim Bizzocchi, Michael Nixon, Steve DiPaola, Natalie Funk. DiGRA 2013 Conference.
Abstract: Designing robust narrative experience in games is a complex and demanding task. The need to balance authorial control with player interactivity necessitates structurally flexible storytelling tools. One such tool is the micronarrative – an internal unit of narrative progression and coherence. This paper explicates relationships between the size, form, and experience of narrative units within electronic games. It identifies three design properties that enhance the utility and effectiveness of micronarratives within game experience: micronarratives are hierarchical, modular, and accumulative. The analysis is based on close readings of two commercial game titles, NHL 12 (Electronic Arts Canada 2012) and Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal 2011).