This dissertation discusses the nature of storytelling in games. The aim is to contribute to the growing body of literature already available on the subject by considering a wide range of perspectives, and offering a mature take on an emerging art form.

This study is based on an assortment of popular games carefully selected from three decades of play. From Pong to Assassin’s Creed, this work asks why we experience emotion from games at all, and explores how plumbers, hedgehogs, and tomb raiders have become an important part of popular culture.

The fantastic growth of video games makes this a multi-facetted and dynamic area of study, and it is introduced here in an easy to read and considered fashion.

April 2008