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Narrative in Question Guest Lecture

Wednesday 24 May 2017, 4.00PM to 5.30pm

Speaker(s): Sandy Louchart (Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art)

'Interactive Digital Narratives: Exploring Narrative Creativity in Games'

Interactive Storytelling has been a core topic in games since pen and paper Role-Playing Games initially explored ways to dynamically factor player narrative creativity. Text based Multi User Dungeons and variants (MUD/MOO) built on RPG techniques in a digital context, keeping content generation and player interaction as emergent as possible. While graphics innovations presented players with the ability to explore story environments visually, the tension between play, player creativity and computational structures grew.

In recent years, the story based games have served to showcase the potential for games to meaningfully touch players emotionally. This talk aims to discuss, through examples, the narrative approaches used in games and the use of agency as a commitment to meaning. Whilst games regularly elicit and exploit a player’s narrative creativity, the notion of the player as a storyteller is relative to one’s perspective of the relationships between interaction and narratives.

Dr. Sandy Louchart is the head of undergraduate programmes at the School of Simulation and Visualisation at The Glasgow School of Art. His research investigates the domains of Interactive Storytelling (IS) via the development of the Emergent Narrative concept and Serious Games Design from the perspective of Serious Games Mechanics. Sandy’s research in Interactive Digital Narratives (IDN) has, thus far, been heavily oriented towards the domains of Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Actors and Interactive Narratives. From a technical perspective, Sandy’s work involves the design of Autonomous Synthetic Characters and their affect-based action/selection mechanisms to simulate characterisation within an interactive drama scenario. Sandy’s current interest in the Interactive Digital Narratives area are about: 1) Bridging the knowledge gap between Artificial Intelligence constructs for IDN, authors and writers ( 2) The conceptualisation, production and development of IDNs from the perspective of Environmental Storytelling.

Narrative in Question is an ICNS research programme for Spring and Summer terms 2017, bringing together visiting speakers and York researchers with narrative-related interests. The core events are a series of seminars and guest lectures, and a culminating workshop featuring international contributors and a workshop focussed upon developing an interdisciplinary research project.

The idea for the programme is that the question of narrative provides a conceptual hub for dialogue amongst participants with widely divergent individual research agendas. The seminars will feature individual research projects in which the issue of narrative is fundamentally at stake. All project participants share a concern to put narrative in question, whether as a theoretical concept, as a mode of discourse or cognition, as a particular corpus or tradition, as a set of formal devices and techniques, as a use of specific media, or as a research methodology.

See the full programme of events

Location: Seminar Room BS/007, Humanities Research Centre, Berrick Saul Building, University of York Campus West