Narratology v. Ludology: My opinion.

Why read my opinion? You’ve read the opinion of everyone else under the sun on interactive storytelling, so why not? So, is it possible? Sure. Will it happen? Yup. Will it be good? Sometimes.

Just like any other game, sometimes it’ll be a pain, sometimes it will be amazing, and sometimes it will be completely inconsequential. The thing I don’t get why people make such a big deal out of it. Let the narratologists do their thing. Let the ludologists do theirs. Occasionally stop in the others camp and say “Hey, how’s it going? Invented the Citizen Kane of interactive storytelling yet?” “No. How’s that ‘game that can make you cry’ coming along?” “Fine.” Live together and be done with it. Blah. Seems to me it’s a lot of noise about nothing.

The narratologists are seemingly convinced that the world will implode. “It’s impossible,” they say, “Impossible!” Of course the ludologists usually aren’t too different. “It WILL work, and when it does, narrative stories will be the thing of movies and books! Games will rule the media landscape!” Y’know what really scares both groups of people? What if it works? I mean, what if we DO get the genuine “interactive story” up and going strong? What happens then? Who will be right? My guess? Neither. Games will still be relegated to second class citizen status in the world of media for some time regardless of what they offer. (Acceptance only comes with maturity.)

But supposing it does happen soon, do ludologists really think anything will change? It’ll be relegated to bullet-point status immediately. Narratologists calm your fears, you’ll still have jobs in a decade’s time.