Game mechanics telling stories? An experiment

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“Game mechanics telling stories? An experiment” by Kristian Hjaltason, Steffen Christophersen, Julian Togelius, and Mark J. Nelson. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, 2015.

Abstract

We investigate the question of how game mechanics influence or produce narrative by way of empirical experiment. The experimental setup involves a game with reconfigurable game mechanics and minimal representational elements. 69 players played games with randomized game mechanics, and 16 players formed a control group playing with a fixed set of mechanics. All players were asked to describe the story of the game with minimal prompting, and these free-text answers were tagged. Associations between tags and mechanics were analyzed using correlation analysis and frequent pattern mining. It was found that the choice of mechanics significantly impact what stories players tell about the game, but that most of the associations are relatively simple and straightforward.

BibTeX entry:

@inproceedings{MechanicsStories:FDG15,
   author = {Kristian Hjaltason and Steffen Christophersen and Julian
	Togelius and Mark J. Nelson},
   title = {Game mechanics telling stories? An experiment},
   booktitle = {Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the
	Foundations of Digital Games},
   year = {2015}
}

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