The self created narrative in video games

When gamers play video games, it is common that they begin creating their own narrative, or story, through the game. For example in Fallout 3 it is common that players will horde certain items, or wear certain armor for their own reasons. I played Fallout 3 as a samurai, only using a sword and wearing samurai armor. I created the narrative that I was a samurai in the world of fallout and played according to that narrative, restricting the use of guns, stimpacks and anything else. I’ve created this note to hear your personal narratives that you’ve created in playing video games. Have you created your own back story to your character in Skyrim, or only drove red cars in G.T.A. Leave me a note!

  • Fascinating topic. I would definitely be intrigued how games that allow more free roaming affect the gaming experience compared to games with less customization and more restrictions on roaming and character design. That comparison would be interesting to break down. For me, I would create certain characters with certain belief systems in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. Same with World of Warcraft--such as creating a character who refused to kill animals. – emilydeibler 8 years ago
  • I'd explore Mount and Blade Warband, which is a game that has basically no plot but lots of organic storytelling that just occurs through playing. – MattHotaling 8 years ago
  • This may also be interesting to consider. Behavioral scientists talk a lot about the role of unscripted play in children's lives. For example, is playing in a sandbox better than playing a video game? Minecraft, of course, throws a wrench into their arguments. But this concept of player-created narratives --- which are often "challenges" for adult players --- poses a new question: can unscripted play be found in a scripted environment? – Kristian Wilson 8 years ago
  • Could be worth correlating this to how all the narratives are in part 'self created' - the audience makes meanings themselves out of words on a page, pictures on a screen or sounds in their ear. This also can echo the current article about choice, or the illusion of it, in games like Bioshock. I would stay away from gimmicks you give to the story and focus on the anatomy of the extent to which you always forge your own path when playing a game, no matter how unscripted it is. Compare one extreme to the other - how does the gamer contribute to an absolutely linear story, and what do they gain (or lose) when things become less scripted. Also, approach the full breadth of gaming. There's a temptation to only discuss roleplaying games, but not too long ago 'gamers' were making narratives out of Space Invaders and Street Fighter, and they still are today. – JekoJeko 8 years ago
  • It would be wonderful if games would take into account "self-created" characters and allow the player more customizing options as well as personal developments for each characters. I am an avid Fallout and Elder Scroll gamer, but most of the time I feel disappointed with the lack of personalization - and I must accept that my character's story only exist in my head. To answer your thread, I never really constructed an identity for my Fallout characters mostly because it seemed like there wasn't a lot of room for backstory. (FO3 you're literally a fetus - I mean adult when you leave the vault and FNV, you're shot in the head) Although, those narratives allowed me to create a character alongside the growing plot. It didn't go much further than I am ALWAYS a lady in Pre-War sundress killing people with a melee weapon. Now, I did create an elaborate backstory for my Skyrim character where she ran away from home because of growing imperial forces, the death of her husband and was caught thieving on the border- but she didn't care because she wanted to go to Skyrim anyways. And Skyrim is the sole example of me creating an entire identity and backstory for my character mostly because I accidentally created a pretty Nord. – spiringempress 8 years ago

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