Decolonial Narrative Games - High Concept
In a GDD (Game Design Document) this is an understanding phase when we describe what the game will be about, what kind of game it will be and how it will feel like. It is the very seed of the game from which it will grow, unfold and fructify. But be warned: this might change completely as the game develops!
Teacher contact: historiasinterativasoficinas@gmail.com
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WHAT IS A LUDONARRATIVE?
We understand ludonarrative as a dynamic through which a narrative is built in a gaming situation. Game here is understood in Huizinga ́s definition of play (2004) and narrative is seen as a process of poetic configuration of themes, characters, setting and events, into units of action, time and place, which are developed in a cause-effect relationship (Ricoeur, 1983; Barthes, 1977).
We expanded a concept of ludonarrative dissonance, as suggested by Clint Hocking [https://clicknothing.typepad.com/click_nothing/2007/10/ludonarrative-d.html] and resonance, as suggested by Mattie Brice [http://www.mattiebrice.com/ludonarrative-resonance/] and A.L. [http://www.realityrefracted.com/2013/03/ludonarrative-why-it-matters.html] or consonance, as suggested by Ryan J. Hodge [https://www.lasertimepodcast.com/2014/11/23/3-ways-ludonarrative-consonance-makes-better-games-and-players/] to define what we understand by games in which the goals are to tell or build a story. In a ludonarrative the mechanics and rules must achieve resonance with the narrative; otherwise the game does not happen. As examples of ludonarratives we can think of Role playing games (both tabletop and live action), alternate reality games, gamebooks and others. Actually, any game which has as its goal the creation of a story can be a ludonarrative. It does not matter if the game digital or analog, competitive or cooperative, or even if originally it was not necessarily a narrative game, as in most cardgames and boardgames. You can make a boardgame narrative if the game´s goal becomes the creation of a story. If you make rules for chess that build a story in the process, then you have a narrative chess.

So in order to achieve this ludonarrative ressonance we divided games into three aspects to be observed and intertwined:

- MATHESIS: what to tell

- MIMESIS: how to tell.

- DYNAMIS: how to play what is being told.

- SEMIOSIS: how to show what is being played and told.

We suggest you read more about these definitions here:
{google drive or any other repository with references like papers, books, videos etc}
1. Choose one narrative game to analyse; provide a reference link to this game:
2. MATHESIS: what is this game about?
3. MIMESIS: how is the theme presented?
4. DYNAMIS: what kind of game is it?
5. SEMIOSIS: how does it feel like in terms of image, sound, and/or language?
WHAT WOULD BE A DECOLONIAL LUDONARRATIVE?
According to Anibal Quijano (apud Candau& Oliveira, 2010:19), the colonizer destroys the others ́ imaginary, while reaffirms its own. This process turns the others into colonized, making them believe that their own culture and identity is inferior and wrong.
Catherine Walsh (apud Candau& Oliveira, 2010:33) states that to decolonize means a strategy beyond political freedom from colonization. It aims at a total rescue and/or reconstruction of the once destroyed culture and identity. But now we have a problem: our entire research and knowledge repertoire was built upon the colonizer ́s foundations. In the field of Decolonial Pedagogy, Luis Fernandes de Oliveira (2010) asks how is it possible to apply a method with a theoretical and epistemological non-Eurocentric basis in a reality where most teachers have a practice based on theories and epistemologies that are fundamentally Eurocentric.
Gayatri Spivak (2010) asks: can the subaltern speak? Can the once colonized speak for him/herself using the very tools of the colonizer? Now, inspired by her, we ask ourselves: Can the subaltern play?

Before we begin let's sit together in class and discuss some points:
- Should I talk about something I don't KNOW?
- Should I talk about something I don't FEEL?
- What IS the difference between KNOWING and FEELING?
- What do you KNOW that INTERESTS you that you think might be interesting to someone else?
- What do you FEEL that INTERESTS you that you think might be interesting to someone else?
- What do you KNOW that BOTHERS you that you think might bother someone else?
- What do you FEEL that BOTHERS you that you think might bother someone else?

Let's share our "knowledge", "feelings", "interests" and "bothers" and choose our research partners. Then we will look for information and references from different sources (academics, google, people, streets etc) and set dates for seminar presentations and discussions. I will also show some of my own GDDs as examples.

Then, we will take a closer look at colonial frames in game design. So far we identified four Eurocentric standards in gaming and for each of them we are trying to propose a decolonial alternative:

1. Minecraft and THE METAPHOR OF COLONIZATION (in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6i5Ylu0mgM): what decolonial possibilities could we propose for game mechanics/gameplay?

2. THE HERO'S JOURNEY by Joseph Campbell [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell] and the Eurocentric-archetypal point of view by Carl Jung [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung] as the main, and sometimes the only reference for contemporary game storytelling: what decolonial possibilities could we propose for character concept and motivations?

3. MESSIANISM [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianism] and DUALISM [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualistic_cosmology] as the main, and sometimes the only reference for contemporary games challenges and solutions: what decolonial possibilities could we propose in order to achieve better ludonarrative consonances?

4. The Fibonacci Number, the Vitruvian Man, and THE GOLDEN RATIO [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio], European references that are used as main references for visual representation: can we find beauty out of these standards?
6. Look for on or more of these standards in the game you chose and describe them:
7. How do you feel about these standards?
Clear selection
8. After these experiences can you sketch what game you would like to design?
Development
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