Unit Two: Developing an Immersive Classroom


Mini-Course: Literature, Narrative, and Analysis Through Video Games


Unit Three: Evaluation and Implementation


LESSON 2.1 Exploring Games as Narrative


Objective: Analyze how video games can explore narrative.

What Makes a Quality Narrative?

In any story, what is it that makes it, well, good? There are a variety of things we look for in literary works for classroom use including literary devices, analysis capabilities, and narrative choices. These are key aspects for study throughout English classrooms. When technology shifted toward incorporating the "movie version" of a book that was read, a lot of people were slow to accept it as a valid integration of media in analytical capacities, too. With this in mind, the features that are beneficial for the study of a text in general, allow for study throughout all medias.

According to Byrne (2017), narrative-driven video games are usually story-heavy, allowing the players more decisions regarding the progression. Because of the development of understanding consequence of actions, "...students can learn to become more creative and essentially create their own stories. In having these students pick different dialogues and observe the different outcomes for whatever dialogues they pick, teachers could use these storylines as examples of story creation and prompt students to write their own stories based on what they observe" (The Odyssey).


Task 7: View a lecture from a video game design course at MIT. Think about how they describe they ways a story through many different means. Explain how you think these intentional designs on the behalf of the game creators could help you to explore narrative qualities not always available in text.

LESSON 2.2 Examples of Applied Games

Objective: Continue analyzing how video games can explore narrative.

Exploring the Hero's Journey


Task 8: Refresh your memory onthe Hero's Journey and then examine each step through the lens of a video game plot point..

One of the major components in early narrative study is that of the Hero's Journey, a continued narrative archetype from thousands of years ago first made infamous by Joseph Campbell. This unit in many schools, focuses on exploring a narrative through a choice of several books or short stories that highlight how each of the specific steps matches up to an event or character reference in the text.


Game: Mass Effect:


Topic for study: The Hero's Journey


Explaination: '


Task 10: In a considerable amount of action/adventure and/or RPG games, the Hero's Journey is frequently in play.' Watch the trailer and see if you can identify any pieces of the Hero's Journey. Think about which category of hero thee main character may fall into.

Exploring Literary Devices


Game: Bioshock Trilogy


Topic for study: Intertextuality


Explaination: Intertextuality is created when a concrete idea merges with something different than it's purported associations and then can be perceived differently. In each Bioshosck game, a dystopian world is created in an attempt to create an idealized world. While the world is externally beautiful, vibrant, colorful, it is also dark, dangerous, and confounding. In Bioshock: Infinite, players begin to pick this up as they progress through the opening sequence. Within the first moments of Bioshock Infinite, an eerie version of May The Circle be Unbroken plays in the background (Bioshock:Infinite, 2013). This movement from the strange (the dystopia) with the added familiar (a song that is fairly well known in religious arenas) aids in setting the stage for what is to come, causing immediate unease in players.


Task 10: Watch the introduction to either Bioshock or Bioshock: Infinite. Think about how intertextuality, literary devices, and narratives are created within the first few minutes of the game.