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Mmo Narratology Design Example Essay

4657 words - 19 pages

Narrative for Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Narratology is, in its broadest sense, the study of story and story telling. This is the oldest form of communication known before man knew language cave painting's existed which told stories of the peoples life's, exploits and learning's. In a traditional sense narrative is a linear process stories begin, events occur and the story concludes.
Narrative is present in all forms of media however in one of our newest forms of media, computer games, narrative is under some debate since narrative implies a narrator i.e. a story being conveyed from a perspective to the reader, computer games can traditionally fall within this ...view middle of the document...

However the character and broader concepts within the universe stick to very relatable concepts, good vs. evil, nature vs. industry and the struggle against destiny. These are all obviously perfect for a format such as a Computer game since they are conflicts that while considered core beliefs by large majorities of the world's population (religion proposes good v.s. evil for example) actualizing these struggles is impossible for most people. Computer game's allow the player to participate, on a fantastical and grand scale, in these conflicts. The characters in world of Warcraft often follow well established archetype's though the main development of their personalities only really occurred within Warcraft 3. Since then the major NPC's within the universe have settled into relatively simple personalities Arthas is a mirror for the corruption of power despite good intentions, Thrall is the charismatic tribal leader, Varian Wrynn despite being a late addition to the world of Warcraft franchise is a more interesting but fundamentally shallow personalty a “good” king who has prejudices against the seemingly barbaric tribes that are the horde.

So to my own concept for an MMORPG universe, a lot of different worlds and settings have been explored by the MMO market from high fantasy to sci-fi and
kung-fu, I first settled upon a historical setting but after fleshing out narratives and idea's for a couple of settings I decided that using an established era as the base for a universe throws too many problems into the mix, people have expectations of different forces and if historical settings are used it is of course established history and thus the outcome of any event will be scoffed at if different and predictable if accurate. So to take advantage of the implicit lore within our history and how as a race we are inherently draw to human history as a theme for our fantasies.
The problem with using this setting however is the use of historical figures within the narratology, its hard to elaborate or change an existing and well documented historical figure to suit the narratology without, in my opinion ruining the novelty of using historical figures. We expect perhaps exaggerations of their personalities but nothing dramatically out of character.
The structure of the MMO would follow a system of a hub like future world for each of three factions. The agenda of each faction is to influence time for their own gains, or protect it from change, though from the perspective of each faction their goals and method's are just and right.
Since this concept removes the concept of time from everywhere except the hub worlds narrative can be told within small bubble of pre-existing historical events with the twist of the player factions attempts to influence that event. All factions participate in each historical event and while there are stand alone quests following the standard narrative structure of a quest given a task completed and either a bigger quest...

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