Friday, May 08, 2009

Storytelling in Games, and a comment on notability

I just got another article published on strange horizons discussing storytelling in games, which brings my body of work on game theory topics to five major pieces so far, as seen in the sidebar. I've written about four areas which share little overlap, the uses of story, music, and puzzles that are unique to games, and issues related to the perceived fairness or balance of multiplayer games. 

I've fleshed out adventure games and abstract puzzles the most, writing two articles talking about the use of interfaces in that genre and the different forms that puzzles take. When writing I spend a lot of time defining what I see as the essential concepts then building from there, which is why writing two article in a specific area such as puzzles has reaped greater rewards than just laying out the groundwork.

Some of my inspiration for writing in this area has been reading some of what's been written about games already in the books First Person, Second Person, Third Person by the MIT Press. First Person was primarily academic criticism and commentary on games, Second Person had a lot more input from game designers on how they made their games and some interesting projects, and Third Person is about the potential and techniques used for long-running stories.

And on a side note, there are roughly 6,706,993,152 living human beings on the planet, 369,285 of whom have passed Wikipedia's standards for notability and earned their own article, which means that roughly one in every eighteen thousand people are "notable", the top .006% of humanity. Assuming you could resist the urge to hover over the stream of facts and misinformation flowing about you, it would be nice to make it in that number.