System of a Downloadable Game

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Cast you mind back through the cold, wintery mists of the past 3 weeks to a blog post of mine where I spoke about the emergence of narrative-focused games like Gone Home and Life is Strange. The slow pace of these games, which lack reflex-driven action sequences and don’t present many gameplay challenges for the player to overcome, are the kind of games that often get labelled as “interactive narratives” or likened to “visual novels”. It is often a criticism levelled at games like Gone Home and Life is Strange that without a sufficient quota of “gameplay” being met, the games would have been better as moves or books. But as Frasca (2001) argues, the notion of looking at games from a narrative perspective does a disservice to the medium – which is less fundamentally concerned with narrative representation and more concerned with systematic simulation. To quote…

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