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Title: Chronotope in western role-playing video games : an investigation of the generation of narrative meaning through its dialogical relationship with the heroic epic and fantasy
Author: Barbosa Lima, Eduardo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 062X
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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The development of the video game industry and the increasing popularity of the medium as a form of entertainment have led to significant developments in the discipline of game studies and a growing awareness of the cultural significance of video games as cultural artefacts. While much work has been done to understand the narrative aspect of games, there are still theoretical gaps on the understanding of how video games generate their narrative experience and how this experience is shaped by the player and the game as artefact. This interdisciplinary study investigates how meaning is created in Western Role Playing Games (WRPGs) video games by analysing the narrative strategies they employ in relation to those commonly used in Heroic Epic and Fantasy narratives. It adopts the Bakhtinian concepts of chronotope and dialogue as the main theoretical tools to examine the creation and integration of narratives in WRPGs with a special focus on the time-space perspective. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Dragon Age Origins were chosen as representatives of the WRPG video game genre while Beowulf and the tale of Sigurd, as it appears in the Poetic Edda and the Volsung Saga, were chosen as representatives of the Heroic Epic poetic tradition. References are also made to Fantasy novels, especially the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Textual analysis along with some techniques employed by researchers working with visual methodologies and compositional interpretation were used to analyse relevant aspects of the texts and games. The findings suggest that intertextual and genre materials considerably shape the narrative of WRPGs and exercise a profound dialogical effect on the ludonarrative harmony of the games investigated through their interaction with the game world and gameplay systems. This relationship is most visible in the chronotopic (time-space) aspect of the chosen games. The findings also suggest that Epic material dialogically orients the WRPG players' experience and adjusts their expectations and understanding of the fictional world. This study as well as the refining of chronotopic analytical tools to encompass chronotopic awareness, transportation, and flow may be of use in further chronotopic investigations of different games, literary genres, and/or other media artefacts.
Supervisor: Knowles, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Game studies ; Old English literature ; Old Norse literature ; Bakhtinian ; Time and space analysis ; Intertextuality