Category Archives: Narrative Design

This Post Has 36 Possible Endings

We are not talking about an epiphany on the level of Proust’s madeleine, but reading Grady Hendrix’s Slate history of the Choose Your Own Adventure books rocketed me back to my 1980s childhood. I was the target audience for these page-turners, mainly because I lacked the key ingredients that Hendrix notes were essential to enjoy […]

Raising Acts and Taking Names

I have pretty good selection of old SNES titles I can reach for when I need to nostalgically kill a few hours—the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Yoshi’s Island. Final Fantasy II & III if I’m looking to kill half a year.  Games you’ve likely played, or at least are […]

Jane McGonigal’s Epic Brain

I have a crush on Jane McGonigal’s brain.  According to Jane in her talk on Ignite, she recovered from a traumatic brain injury by making it a game, becoming Jane McGonigal: Concussion-Slayer.  Jane McGonigal’s brain is resilient.   She believes and argues very convincingly that game players can solve real world problems like curing cancer and […]

In Medias Res

I hate it when sci-fi movies and games feel compelled to dump a bunch of information on me before the story begins.  As if I’m not going to figure out the rules of the world over the course of the story.  Doesn’t matter if it’s via narration or text crawl. (Sorry, Star Wars, you’re just […]

The Old is New (is Old Again)

There are a number of meanings for the word ‘trope;’ the one I’m interested in is, in a sense, the nice version of a cliche. It’s something familiar, a theme or occurrence that can be found across a genre. For instance, any number of fantasy tropes spring from or are present in Tolkein’s Lord of […]

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