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Improving video game conversations with trope-informed design

Rennick, Stephanie and Roberts, Sean 2021. Improving video game conversations with trope-informed design. Game Studies
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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: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Publisher: Game Studies
ISSN: 1604-7982
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 July 2021
Date of Acceptance: 5 July 2021
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 10:15

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