Title of Abstract

An Interesting Discovery: The Importance of Audience Interaction and Closure in Movies and Video Games

Submitting Student(s)

Morgan SmithFollow

Faculty Mentor

One WU mentor: Devon Ralston, Ph.D.; ralstond@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

English

Faculty Mentor

Devon Ralston, Ph.D.

Abstract

Whenever a literary work such as a movie or a video game is released to the public, there is a certain level of action that the audience must take. In the case of a movie, the viewer must decide first if he or she is going to actually watch the movie. Then there is the amount of attention that the viewer is willing to give to the film. Finally, the viewer decides how much meaning they wish to garner from the film itself. What is the message that the plot is declaring? What symbols are being used? In a video game, the player is often given more freedom of their actions. Do they want to use their overwhelming charisma to get into an enemy stronghold, or would the player prefer to go in with guns blazing? While many literary works present these opportunities for exploration, many narratives rely upon them. More specifically, some works rely on the audience’s attention to detail or desire to explore in order to achieve a greater perception of the world in that medium. In a way, this is a unique type of storytelling that requires the audience to find the answers for themselves. This honors thesis examines what Scott Mccloud calls “closure”, story details that are communicated and perceived without the assistance of dialogue and direct action. I research storytelling reliant upon closure throughout the thesis exploring texts such as video games including Bloodborne, Dark Souls trilogy, and Red Dead Redemption 2 and films like Captain American Trilogy, Iron Man, and other Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Finally, I go into deep detail about the best and worst times to use this method of storytelling, such as creating a dense video game world or a believable cinematic world.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

Please check this if you understand.

Honors Thesis Committee

Devon Ralston, Ph.D.; Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.; Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.; Casey Cothran, Ph.D.

Honors Thesis Committee

Devon Ralston, Ph.D.; Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.; Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.; Casey Cothran, Ph.D.

Course Assignment

HONR 450H – Cothran & HONR 451H - Lipscomb

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An Interesting Discovery: The Importance of Audience Interaction and Closure in Movies and Video Games

Whenever a literary work such as a movie or a video game is released to the public, there is a certain level of action that the audience must take. In the case of a movie, the viewer must decide first if he or she is going to actually watch the movie. Then there is the amount of attention that the viewer is willing to give to the film. Finally, the viewer decides how much meaning they wish to garner from the film itself. What is the message that the plot is declaring? What symbols are being used? In a video game, the player is often given more freedom of their actions. Do they want to use their overwhelming charisma to get into an enemy stronghold, or would the player prefer to go in with guns blazing? While many literary works present these opportunities for exploration, many narratives rely upon them. More specifically, some works rely on the audience’s attention to detail or desire to explore in order to achieve a greater perception of the world in that medium. In a way, this is a unique type of storytelling that requires the audience to find the answers for themselves. This honors thesis examines what Scott Mccloud calls “closure”, story details that are communicated and perceived without the assistance of dialogue and direct action. I research storytelling reliant upon closure throughout the thesis exploring texts such as video games including Bloodborne, Dark Souls trilogy, and Red Dead Redemption 2 and films like Captain American Trilogy, Iron Man, and other Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Finally, I go into deep detail about the best and worst times to use this method of storytelling, such as creating a dense video game world or a believable cinematic world.