Extraludic narratives: Online communities and video games

  • Sky LaRell Anderson Denison University
Keywords: Dark Souls, Fantasy theme analysis, Narrative, Online community, Reddit, Symbolic convergence theory

Abstract

The role of online community is central to the process of understanding game narratives. Given a tension in game narrative theory, a solution to that tension is the stories that players tell of their own game-play experiences. This analysis of the rhetorical dimension of telling game-play stories as part of a communal experience seeks to illuminate the intersections of game narrative, community, and rhetoric. The rhetorical dimensions of players' personal game narratives and online community building coalesce as a phenomenon unique to how video games influence community construction through the sharing of personal game-play experiences. Using symbolic convergence theory, I examine the personal game-play experiences found on an online community for the game Dark Souls (From Software, 2011), revealing how extraludic narratives function rhetorically to solve the tension between player agency and game narrative.

Author Biography

Sky LaRell Anderson, Denison University
Visiting Assistant Professor Department of Communication
Published
2018-09-15