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

Clara Fernández Vara


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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