Interactive Online Event Science+Fiction: Game over, and over, and over

Collage Video Controls © Unsplash

Tue, 06/29/2021


Narrative is a sequence of events or experiences. How does the form and meaning of narrative change across different media? And what makes narrative in video games, in particular, so unique?

How do nonlinear and multilinear narrative games complicate the linearity we encounter in most novels or films? How do side quests in open world games, from Grand Theft Auto V to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, transform an overarching story into a storyworld? How do game mechanics and interactive opportunities change how we experience and interpret game narratives? How do emergent narratives, not intended by designers but created by players, in games such as The Sims or Minecraft, complicate traditional narrative hierarchies?

These questions will be the focus of an interactive online conversation with Philomena Schwab and Patrick Jagoda, moderated by Jordan Erica Webber.

Please register here

Patrick Jagoda (c) Jason Smith Patrick Jagoda is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies and English at the University of Chicago. He is Executive Editor of Critical Inquiry and director of the Weston Game Lab. He is also co-founder of the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab and Transmedia Story Lab, and a member of the Fourcast Lab collective.
Patrick's books include Network Aesthetics (2016), The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer (2016), and Experimental Games: Critique, Play, and Design in the Age of Gamification (2020), as well as several edited volumes and journal special issues. He is currently working on his next book, Story Lab: Narrative Methods for a Transmedia Era. He has also designed numerous alternate reality games, video games, and board games about issues that include climate change, public health, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patrick is a recipient of a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Philomena Schwab (c) Stray Fawn Studios
Philomena Schwab is a game designer and community manager from Zurich, Switzerland. She wrote her master thesis about "Community Building for Indie Developers" and went on to co-found the indie game studio Stray Fawn in 2016. The studio’s main focus is the development of procedurally generated simulation games. Currently, they are working on ‘The Wandering Village’, a city-building/simulation game in which players establish a settlement on the back of a giant, wandering creature.
In 2017, Philomena was named a 30 under 30 in Technology in Europe by Forbes. As a vice president of the Swiss Game Hub, she helps the local game industry grow.

Jordan Erica Webber (c) Jordan Erica Webber Jordan Erica Webber is the resident gaming expert on The Gadget Show (Channel 5), an arts and culture presenter for BBC Radio 4, and host of podcasts like Chips with Everything, Wild Wild Tech, and Talking Simulator.
She has written for the Guardian for nearly a decade, and co-authored a book called Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us (about life, philosophy and everything).
Jordan is particularly known for her insightful skill as an interviewer, and her ability to make conversations around video games and digital culture accessible and engaging to a wider audience.