Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Jesper Juul is referring to the N&L (narratologists vs. ludologists) debate or non-discussion, when saying: can’t take it anymore, and it may have been a lot of shadow boxing, but there are also really serious issues that we have had to take on, head on.

What we need to understand is that neither the narratologist nor the ludologist perspective is actually focusing on fiction. They are in fact discussing which structure comnputer games essentially are based upon, arguing whether or not it is a narrative structure or a ludic structure.

Being a moderate ludologist, I think the answer is very simple. Games are based on a ludic structure, but may couple this with a narrative structure as we see in quest-based interactive narratives like adventure games or action-adventure games.

We ought to first analyse the structure of any game as a ludic structure and if there is narrative, we ought to analyse the narrative structure as well. These two kinds of structures or not opposites and any attempt at trying to think of them as an essential dichotomy is a failiure.

We must as mentioned keep in mind that narrative is not the same as fiction. Fiction is often based upon a narrative structure. But fiction might likewise be based on a ludic structure as we find in many strategy games and lots of war games.

In conclusion: Any game has a ludic structure and some game has a narrative structure as well. Fiction may be based upon a narrative and/or ludic structure.


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