Scientific article
Open access

The study of narrative acts with and for digital media

Published inDigital Scholarship in the Humanities, vol. 35, no. 4, p. 904-920
Publication date2020

In this article, we introduce the concept of narrative act which denotes a meta-action —an action on an action— that contributes to the narrative sequence. Narrative acts have been often described in narrative theories, in particular within structuralism, but never systematically studied. Examples of narrative acts include Ask, Order, or Forbid. Moreover, in the interactive digital narrative (IDN) field, such narrative acts may take a central role when they are used as building blocks in combinatorial generative systems. Therefore, this article proposes a unique effort to establish an extensive catalog of such narrative acts, with the view that this catalog is a work in progress by definition since it targets the IDN domain, which consists of a very limited corpus of works. It is, however, a necessary step toward a more theoretical approach of narrative acts in IDN. The catalog contains more than 200 narrative acts, for which a number of features have been collected. Among those is the source of the act, either a narrative or speech act theory or a theoretical work or an implemented system. A general three-level taxonomy is also proposed, associated with an interactive visualization tool available online, allowing researchers and creative authors to consult and expand the catalog.

  • Narrative Acts
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - 159605
Citation (ISO format)
SZILAS, Nicolas et al. The study of narrative acts with and for digital media. In: Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 2020, vol. 35, n° 4, p. 904–920. doi: 10.1093/llc/fqz078
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2055-768X

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