Narrativized Video Games: Playing Cultural Influences and Intentionalities

  • Author / Creator
    Pedraça, Sâmia A
  • This thesis focuses on story-based games that address in-game complex social issues in order to map their narrative affordances and decode their intentionality. That is, my main goal is to identify the affordances and resources that construct and structure a game narrative, as well as to analyze the capability of games to present symbolic representations. Video games are demonstrating great potential for the dissemination of ideas, a potential that is as powerful as any other cultural product. Sophisticated game narratives provide highly interactive environments that make a difference in players’ experiences, since players must act within the fictional world. Through immersion and agency, players make their in-game choices; they act in favour of a side, an interest, a cause, or an ideology. Unlike other media that require only the viewers’ passive attention, a digital game is an interactive medium that demands a player’s constant awareness and input. Consequently, the impact of the game’s arguments on its audience can be enormous, perhaps even as powerful as the effect of the industry of cinema or television on society, both of which are considered by media theorists as playing a highly influential role in the process of shaping social behaviours and spreading western culture to the rest of the world. In this research, I will be examining a group of games that are known as the Mass Effect trilogy (BioWare, 2012). These games are acknowledged by critics and players for their capacity to offer a rich and intricate game narrative, full of complex cultural and social issues as well as symbolic representations and persuasive discourse.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Humanities Computing
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Engel, Maureen (English/Humanities Computing)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Gouglas, Sean (History/Humanities Computing)
    • Rockwell, Geoffrey (Philosophy/Humanities Computing)