Today’s students have never seen a world without video games. They’re an integral part of life now, becoming a new cultural artifact, a new entertainment medium, and bringing with them a whole slew of new employment opportunities.
But how do they work? And what are the parameters for having a meaningful dialog about them with our students?
In this session, Paul Callaghan, a veteran game developer, will explore the elements that contribute to games literacy and how that can be applied to traditional literacy and numeracy skills.
What does a writer do anyway?
Telling stories is an essential part of our cultural fabric, but in the face of a new medium, one in which mechanics, rules, and play are at the heart of the audience experience, we’re still learning how to work the thousands of years of accumulated knowledge in writing and storytelling to our best advantage.
An often-neglected discipline in video games, this session will look at the skills and craft that writers use when approaching storytelling, dialogue, structure, and characterisation, and how to apply those to video games without losing the particular strengths of the medium. By dissecting the craft of writing, it will demonstrate the thought processes behind story creation, what does and doesn’t work within the medium of games, and why some of those boundaries exist. It will also show how some of those core concepts are applicable to games without stories, informing mechanic, level, and systems design.
Looking to the future, the session will lastly speculate on the marriage of traditional narrative and mechanics, and the sorts of stories that can only be told in the medium of games by exploiting the fundamental gameplay forces of agency, choice, rules, and goals.