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4 A PARTICIPATORY FORM OF NARRATIVE

4.1 Introduction

So far we have identified several key issues concerning narrative in VR. We argue

that narrative forms within VR should not be approach from a structuralist or

analytical angle but should instead consider process-based or emergent theories.

Drawing on VR characteristics of immersion and interactivity, we also see a need for

such a narrative model to be particularly sensitive to questions of believability and the

role of the user. Contrary to other narrative media already mentioned, users in a 3D

virtual environment play a central part in the building of the story and their own

overall experience since this depends upon their actions, reactions and behaviour

within the world itself. It is for this reason that a character-centred approach seems

preferable to an Aristotelian plot-centred one. We argue that it is important, given the

freedom that VR potentially offers to the user, to present a model that supports a non-

restrictive and flexible approach to any possible plot development.

While we have failed to find the elements for such a model in the media considered

above, we believe that there are other narrative forms much less frequently studied

which may be more applicable. Models that are based primarily on the user or

spectator’s experience rather than proceeding from an authorial-based perspective

might offer an alternative to the classical but inappropriate narrative forms studied so

far. Participative models might also offer a different approach to the management of

real time within narrative construction. By proposing adequate means of

communication in accordance with 3D Virtual Environments the immersed user might

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