For this week I’m updating the project plan for the Archive of Player Experience. As I laid out in the last proposal post, for this semester I plan to complete the initial stage of the Archive using ImagePlots of the games I’ll be using in my dissertation on queering game narrative: Gone Home, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, SOMA, and The Talos Principle. I have completed a worksheet planner for the project, and am including the link here:
As I worked on a separate project in the past week (on Pokémon GO and narrative construction of reality), I realized a way to frame my argument for the Archive. My interest in using ImagePlot with games has always been to establish a better handle on narrative variance in games–how each player has a different experience of the game, and to what extent. By comparing different players’ playthroughs of the game, we can get a sense of the general form of a game’s narrative, including the critical mass of similarities that players’ experiences generally share. What I’m measuring, then, is how games cohere as a narrative while still allowing players to have different and emergent experiences. Ultimately this determines how a game shapes its reality for the player, including how much variance and possibility that reality has built into it. This allows us to account for difference while still acknowledging commonalities.