ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Towards a taxonomy of perceived agency in narrative game-play

By Bride Mallon
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 5, No. 4]

DOI: 10.1145/1324198.1324202

Notions of agency, authorship, and interaction tend to be broadly defined. Operational specifications exemplifying their empirical existence are needed to understand where and how players affect content, structures, process or outcomes during interaction. This article presents a taxonomy of parameters influencing interaction. In it are identified (a) game aspects in which the player feels agency, and (b) game mechanisms that encourage that feeling. Such a taxonomy is useful for (i) game designers considering where and how to incorporate user input and input triggers, and (ii) evaluating the quality of interaction, given that players judge game quality partly on the extent to which their agency is enabled or inhibited. The taxonomy builds on the results of a series of focus-group studies analyzing selected commercial narrative role-play and adventure games

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