The Illusive Ludonarrativity and the Problem with Emergent Interactive Storytelling Models in Interactive Movies

Keywords: Ludonarrative, Interactive Storytelling, Interactive Movies, Narrativity, Ludology


Cinematic games are increasingly reaching more audiences and have establish successful formulas able to engage their audience in gameplay. On the other hand, interactive movies remain niche and have not found new formulas able to preserve narrativity and at the same time introduce immersive gameplay. Using a combination of surveys, interviews and observations of 150 university students who were asked to play the interactive movie, The Outbreak, the paper concludes that the problem with interactive movies is the lack of a successful model of an emergent interactive narrative format that can introduce meaningful ludonarrative experiences capable of maintaining the narrative but also successfully introducing meaningful gameplay. The paper recommends that for interactive movies to be more immersive, the experience needs to include non-obstructive interactive mechanisms that are complex enough to create an immersive gaming experience, while fully integrated in the narrative and able to keep the audience suspense within the ‘narrativity’ structure and flow.


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