Reading: Imaginary Games and Patterns in Game Design

I am probably about to do two books probably a great deal of injustice. I do not mean to, but I feel like I have been a bit lax in some of my reading lately.  I have had two books on my radar for a while, bought them about a month ago, and I hadn’t really gotten around to reading them yet. One was Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling by Chris Crawford (no surprise). I’m still working on that one because it is really interesting to me and I want to give more than usual.  The other book is Imaginary Games by Chris Bateman. You may have noticed that I also indicated Patterns in Game Design as part of the post title.  A few days ago, I was skulking about on Twitter, following conversations back for context, when I came across a book recommendation from Brenda Brathwaite. She mentioned Patterns in Game Design (by Staffanto Bjork) to someone as a must-read book.  I casually checked my university library and found we had an electronic copy. I didn’t read it right away, but instead tried to find someplace to buy the book (with no luck as the book appears to be a bit rare).  Eventually I got around to reading it in my own way.  The injustice I am giving these books is, for the most part, that I did not read every word. In fact, I read only parts that I thought were relevant to my topics. Even still I am going to talk about them anyway.

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Narrative Project Outline

In an effort to keep as much of my research progress as transparent as possible, I am presenting you with an outline.   I have reasons for this beyond just showing off what I’m going to write about. My main reason for doing this is that I need a third game to use as an example in one section. I don’t know what it is yet, and I need suggestions.  If you want a little bit of background on this project then you can read about it here (this is the one about narrative).  I’m looking for games that force you to do things, or in which you can make a choice (and that choice affects the narrative of the game in some major way). I am trying to avoid Roleplaying Games for this third game. Dark Souls, my first game example, is an RPG. It’s easy to find narrative elements in RPGs. Less so in other kinds of games. As such, I want to show that my concept can be used for a game where the narrative isn’t so obvious.  BONUS POINTS are given if the game has a stated narrative and the actions of the player suggest a different narrative.  For a baseline, lets try for games from 2005 and forward (but if an older game has your attention for this, feel free to explain). So, without any further introduction, I present an outline.

What I Really Mean When I Say ‘Narrative as a Mechanic’

Lately I have been touting around a shortcut phrase for what I am looking at in my other projects. The phrase is “Using Narrative as a Mechanic”.  This phrase is wrong.  I’m going to spend some time here discussing what I really mean by this phrase.  First, though the problem of the phrase.

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