Improving video game conversations with trope-informed design

Rennick, S. and Roberts, S. G. (2021) Improving video game conversations with trope-informed design. Game Studies, 21(3),

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This paper examines tropes in video games pertaining to conversations between player characters and Non-Player Characters (NPCs). Drawing from the fields of pragmatics and Conversation Analysis we show how these tropes differ from real, face-to-face conversations. We demonstrate how politeness theory (how to avoid unsociable, face-threatening behaviour) can help us understand when and why conversations with NPCs disrupt player immersion. Based on these insights we propose alternative designs to improve immersion. We call this approach Trope-Informed Design: tropes are tools that can make or break a player’s experience. Considering how and when to perpetuate, subvert, or transcend tropes can help guide designers in improving their game mechanics.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rennick, Dr Steph
Authors: Rennick, S., and Roberts, S. G.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Game Studies
Publisher:Game Studies
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2001 - 2021 Game Studies
First Published:First published in Game Studies 21(3)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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