ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Understanding entertainment

By Jesse Schell
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 3, No. 1]

DOI: 10.1145/1057270.1057284

Stories and games, which historically have been considered radically different experiences with different principles of construction, actually have many underlying commonalities. Although we view stories as passive and linear, and games as active and nonlinear, during both types of experience, a participant (or guest) is mentally active, and having a linear experience. The way to gauge the quality of the guest's experience is through a system of interest curves, which measure interest over time, and interest is shown to be made of three components: inherent interest, poetry of presentation, and psychological proximity. Finally, this paper introduces the idea of indirect control, which is a method of secretly controlling the desires of a guest, allowing a designer to imbue a non-linear interactive experience with structures typically used in traditional storytelling.

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