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Believability, adaptivity, and performativity: three lenses for the analysis of interactive storytelling

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(Thesis) M.A.
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I present a methodology for performing analyses of Interactive Narrative experiences, and use this technique to explicate a particular game and demonstrate the utility of approaching games via three different analytical perspectives; believability, adaptivity, and performativity. This methodology is a form of close reading, a technique developed in literary theory for the explication of narrative experiences. Interactive Narratives are problematic due to their indeterminate nature and unwieldy scope; I propose a solution that takes the form of a series of constrained readings. These allow me to explicate specific aspects of my play experiences. Using this notion of analytical lenses to filter my playings, I overcome issues of indeterminacy by narrowing the focus of my playing, and address issues of scope by reducing the undifferentiated experience to a series of more readily assimilated sub-experiences. I contend that the lenses presented herein provide three good examples of possible “constrained close readings”.
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