First Advisor

Kate Comer

Date of Award

Winter 3-23-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in English and University Honors






videogames, narrative games, narrative, interactive narrative, design, game studies


This paper examines the relationship of narrative to computer games from a design perspective. Over the past three decades, the academic discourse on narratives games has evolved considerably while producing a wealth of serious scholarship. However, the process of narrative game design continues to be an underdeveloped area of study. In this thesis, I review influential scholarship on narrative games and the broader topic of interactive digital narrative (IDN) and attempt to analyze its potential application to the process of design. I examine some of the major works on IDN, explore historical and ongoing debates related to narrativity within games, and offer a synthesis of three core concepts that hold potential for game design. This work is both a heuristic for designers of narrative games and an examination of how the academic discussion on this topic might better serve the same function.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Game Design Commons