Theories within my narrative

The main aspect of my particular narrative is that the story is told through indirect means, as in it would be revealed to the player slowly in no particular order. I found this structure of narrative quite interesting as it keeps the player active in looking for a story, instead of it being fed to them from the beginning. This structure makes it difficult to compare it to other works but some narrative theories still apply, including theories put forward by Todorov and Barthes.

A few theories automatically do not apply to my narrative as they rely on a dispatcher, a false hero, a reward giver and a helper. These aspects do not appear in my narrative as the game revolves around the character being helpless and weak throughout the entire game, with one of his own kind around him. Levi-Strauss’ theory of binary oppositions also cannot apply, as there are no true “villains” within the game. Some people would run from the player character and some would give chase. If I were to stretch the theory the player and the townspeople could be separated by the ‘Dirty’ and ‘clean’. Even though the townspeople are seen as monsters the player will constantly hear of their disgust for dirt and animals.

Todorv’s theory of equilibrium does fit within the narrative, however with the surreal nature of the story it is hard to see any point that was “normal”. The whole game is supposed to emphasise that the player character is insignificant, so everyone seems to go about their way as if they weren’t there. The player escaping within the various towns could be considered a disequilibrium, as the townspeople talk about the infestation of rodents that the main character is considered to be. The rumours around the towns make it seem that there is a large problem with rodents, despite it just being one, so this shakes up the environment before the player leaves the island and the new equilibrium starts.

The narrative that best describes my narrative is likely Barthes’ theory of codes. Barthes believed that narrative works with different codes, these codes tell the player a story piece by piece. This makes the player work harder but it supposedly gives off a greater feeling of achievement when done. My narrative is given to the player partly within the first couple of rooms, however it is then up to them to work out the several stories within the game and how they connect to the big picture.


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