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상호작용 내러티브로서의 컴퓨터 게임 텍스트에 대한 연구
A Study on the Computer Game Text : Narrativity vs. Interactivity

박동숙   전경란  
  • 초록

    컴퓨터 게임에 대한 사회적 논의는 무성하지만 게임 자체에 대한 학문적 논의는 상대적으로 부족하다. 본 연구는 컴퓨터 게임 텍스트의 특징을 파악하는 데 목적을 둔 것으로, 컴퓨터 게임이 플레이어의 적극적인 참여와 조작에 기반한 상호작용 텍스트일 뿐만 아니라 동시에 특정한 스토리를 담고 있는 이야기물이라는 점에 주목하였다. 먼저 컴퓨터 게임에서 플레이어는 이미 구조화된 이야기의 흐름을 따라가지만 주변 이야기를 중심으로 자신의 의지를 반영하며, 게임 요소들을 다양한 방식으로 조작하고 조합함으로써 내러티브의 내용을 통제한다. 즉 컴퓨터 게임이 상호작용 내러티브로서 갖는 가능성은 플레이어의 선택과 결정을 지속적으로 유도하는 다양한 위성 사건들의 설정 및 캐릭터, 아이템과 같은 내러티브 장치와 그 요소들의 조합을 가능하게 하는 컴퓨터 게임의 계열체적 구조에서 드러난다. 또한 컴퓨터 게임은 지속적으로 경쟁하게 하고 도전하게 하는 계단식으로 구성된 분절적인 구조, 플레이어에게 도전 욕구를 불러일으키면서 동시에 보상을 하는 캐릭터의 능력치와 좋은 아이템, 그리고 게임의 규칙과 같은 장치로 인해 단순한 이야기물과는 다른 모습을 지닌다.


    It has become increasingly evident that computer games constitute a considerable and popular portion of digital texts. Computer games have, however, been largely ignored by academia. This may be due in part to indifference toward the games, and the general failure of traditional disciplines to deal with games as a form of human expression worthy of study. This study focuses on an important and popular part of digital culture, computer games. Computer games have two important distinctive features: narrativity and interactivity. In actuality, however, they are two separate phenomena that in many situations are mutually exclusive. Narrative uses a variety of tricks and devices, such as distancing between the narrator and the narrated, and shifts in the speed of narration. Conversely, interactivity is defined by the possibility of the player to immediately influence the text. The purpose of this study in trying to unravel these characteristics is threefold: to illustrate the arguments needed to grasp the true character of computer games; to discuss computer games as nonlinear storytellers, and as competitions or plays; and to examine certain computer game texts 〈Diablo Ⅱ〉, 〈Final Fantasy Ⅷ), and 〈Arcturus〉. These game texts are examined to find the manner in which narrative structures and devices are used, and to describe each computer games" distinctive textual structure, which differentiates them from the interactive narrative. In contrast to traditional modes of experiencing a story, the player of computer games is required to participate, to be active, in order to experience the satisfaction of seeing the plot develop and the story ultimately resolved, and to progress to the next stage in the game-solving graphical mazes and puzzles. Computer games analyzed in this study use the same basic approach of an underlying linear, logically-built story, but the only parts of this story that must be experienced in a linear fashion are the relatively small beginning and ending sequences. The dominant middle part of game texts is wholly interactive. This enables the player to experience the various parts of the story in any combination. However, the player is still obliged to solve the most important puzzles in a certain sequence in order to complete the game. They have a linear narrative, which in practice appears nonlinear to the player. Computer games are collections of elements that are continually being combined and recombined to form new and interesting story patterns. The player is able to move around using the navigation arrows placed on the interface, and to activate the interactive elements such as character, item and map, etc. Character, and item and map have two main functions in the game: as components in the game text, and as interactive narrative devices. In a sense, they can be seen as offering the player a fictive, microcosmic version of interactive promise, where a great degree of control over the narrative universe is implemented. In the case of traditional narrative, such as in a television series, the resolution might only be partial, but at the end of the text"s duration there is still some kind of finality to the narrative process. Conversely, computer games are designed for extended and often repeated playing, and as such, necessarily resist narrative closure. Computer games adopt strategies to allow repeated playing, such that the game is divided into several sub-games, with overall narrative resolution only being achieved through the successful completion of the sub-games. Thus, the player is forced to use trial and error in combining game elements. As one of the more visible manifestation of the boom in new media, computer games have attracted a great deal of attention. An investigation of both the textual characteristics of the game medium from various angles and of how players interact with those characteristics


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