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Towards a narrative theory of Virtual Reality - page 16 / 26





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process. The process view, in opposition to this, defines narrative as the internal result

of the human ‘storification’ process, which may be activated for someone playing the

traditional god-like authorial role, the traditional passive spectator role, or in many

combinations of these opposed roles. We argue that emergent narrative forms and

practices in such participative narratives offer a more appropriate approach to VR

than classical approaches [28]. The role of the audience in IT could be easily

assimilated to the role played by the user in a VR application. Despite the fact that

believability and certain behavioural considerations have to be dealt with, the actors -

acting reactively to the audience’s interventions - could also be relatively accurately


Participative forms such as IT defy in some ways the usual conception of narrative as

a storyline moving from pre-defined plot points in order to form a coherent,

interesting and entertaining narrative experience. This does not mean however that no

control at all is exercised over the direction in which narrative is developed. In IT,

control is distributed between actors who use their dramatic experience – and possibly

some pre-narrative discussion or general policy – to make choices, which result in an

interesting narrative experience. Thus the authorial role alters in content and may no

longer be centralised in one person. On the other hand, the role of a Game-Master in a

LRPG does centralise these responsibilities, though it by no means excludes the

initiative or participation of the role-players themselves. In order to evaluate this

guiding semi-authorial function, it becomes necessary to consider deep knowledge

elicitation of professionals and/or qualified people in the participative media of IT,

IMPROV and LRPG. We are carrying out this work currently and results will be the

subject of later publication.

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