Title of Abstract

Video Games as Artistic Literature

Submitting Student(s)

Emily CromerFollow

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

As technology becomes more and more advanced, older concepts are reshaped for modern day tools and formats. Literature, specifically artistic, is one such concept, and traditional forms include poetry, prose, drama, and creative nonfiction, all written word on the page. One medium that is not typically considered literature, but is in the process of becoming more common, is that of video games. In this thesis I argue that videogames are a form of artistic literature, specifically a form of interactive story. While novels and films do provoke the mind’s creativity video games adds another level by having users physically interact with the story being told. Literary elements are aspects such as plot, theme, character, tone, action, conflict, dialogue and more. As players move through the game and experience the story, they experience these literary elements on this different level of interactivity that video game provide. Since this argument requires summarizing existing knowledge and then inserting my own, I will be using two methodologies. The first is a review of literature, and the second is a game analysis to show how a game has literary elements. This analysis will include two games in order to exemplify how the elements persist across games. Before either two, however, I will include a definition of terms in order to explain what criteria I’m using to determine what literature is in the context of this argument and how that can be applied to games.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

Please check this if you understand.

Honors Thesis Committee

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

Honors Thesis Committee

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

Course Assignment

ENGL 494 - Cothran and HONR 451H - Lipscomb

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Video Games as Artistic Literature

As technology becomes more and more advanced, older concepts are reshaped for modern day tools and formats. Literature, specifically artistic, is one such concept, and traditional forms include poetry, prose, drama, and creative nonfiction, all written word on the page. One medium that is not typically considered literature, but is in the process of becoming more common, is that of video games. In this thesis I argue that videogames are a form of artistic literature, specifically a form of interactive story. While novels and films do provoke the mind’s creativity video games adds another level by having users physically interact with the story being told. Literary elements are aspects such as plot, theme, character, tone, action, conflict, dialogue and more. As players move through the game and experience the story, they experience these literary elements on this different level of interactivity that video game provide. Since this argument requires summarizing existing knowledge and then inserting my own, I will be using two methodologies. The first is a review of literature, and the second is a game analysis to show how a game has literary elements. This analysis will include two games in order to exemplify how the elements persist across games. Before either two, however, I will include a definition of terms in order to explain what criteria I’m using to determine what literature is in the context of this argument and how that can be applied to games.