Fictional worlds as the key to adaptation: The Blade Runner video game case study.



Traditional narratology utilizes linguistic models based on linguistic models, which makes it difficult to understand narrative in interactive media. Taking more recent narrative theories, such as Herman’s Story Logic (2002), which points to the concept of the storyworld as the key element of narrative, it becomes evident how fictional worlds facilitate understanding narrative in interactive media, as well as the process of translation between them. In order to illustrate this, we use the case study of the video game Blade Runner (1997) and the texts on which it is based, the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick and the film Blade Runner, by Ridley Scott. The comparative analysis will highlight how the game uses the source texts to recreate their fictional world, relying on the pillars that define the storyworld according to Herman, which are the states, events and actions that characterize it. These pillars are reflected in the props, which give cues to player interaction, as well as micronarratives that invoke events narrated in the texts on which the game is inspired. The game also reproduces the ontological ambiguity typical of Philip K. Dick’s work through its design, recreating one of the predominant states of the fictional world.


video games, narrative, fictional worlds, adaptation



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Author Biography

Clara Fernández Vara, New York University

Clara Fernández Vara es Profesora Asociada de Artes en el NYU Game Center de la New York University. Como investigadora, su objetivo es construir puentes interdisciplinares para crear métodos de innovación y abrir camino en el campo del estudio y el desarrollo de videojuegos. Su trabajo se enfoca las estrategias para integrar la narrativa en entornos digitales a través de la interacción y de integración de la narrativa en el espacio. Clara se licenció en Filología Inglesa en la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, donde también obtuvo el Diploma de Estudios Avanzados en Literatura Inglesa; posteriormente obtuvo el título de Masters en Comparative Media Studies en el Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), y se doctoró en Digital Media en el Georgia Institute of Technology. Realizó sus estudios de post-doctorado en Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, y continuó su trabajo como investigadora visitante en el laboratorio The Trope Tank, ambos en el MIT. Su primer libro, Introduction to Game Analysis, fue publicado el año pasado por la editorial Routledge.




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