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Mmo Narratology Design Example

  • Date Submitted: 03/07/2011 09:45 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 48.3 
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Narrative for Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Narratology is, in its broadest sense, the study of story and story telling. This is the oldest form of communication known before man knew language cave painting's existed which told stories of the peoples life's, exploits and learning's. In a traditional sense narrative is a linear process stories begin, events occur and the story concludes.
Narrative is present in all forms of media however in one of our newest forms of media, computer games, narrative is under some debate since narrative implies a narrator i.e. a story being conveyed from a perspective to the reader, computer games can traditionally fall within this category too since while the illusion of freedom is often conveyed little actual freedom exists. The player is free to explore within a scene but is restricted by the programming to experience pre-made narrative elements. However since the advent of the internet online gaming has sky rocketed in popularity, from the lowly beginning's of text based dungeon exploration games to the gargantuan popularity and spread of World of Warcraft (well over 10 million subscribers).
The advent of online gaming has forced games designer to re-examine their use of narratology, while interaction with NPC's can be given a strict narrative structure the majority of interaction is between players and thus cannot be controlled by the bindings of the designers story narrative. In the following essay I hope to outline a possible structure of an MMORPG that allows for narrative and player interaction to co-exist.

My MMORPG concept
To construct an effective mmorpg world I feel its best to consider the current front runner in the mmorpg world (WoW). Warcrafts lore is extensive and rich for those who chose to delve into it, since the success of the original Warcraft strategy game it has been built upon becoming as rich and deep as more traditional Universe's like Tolkein's middle earth. However the...


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