Skip navigation

I have always been distant from games my whole life, and as a result, I never considered them to be narratives, or rather, anything substantial. After reading Henry Jenkins’ piece on “Game Design as Narrative Architecture,” I tried to embrace the game as a story while interacting with the virtual world presented to my avatar. As Jenkins stated, my experience was mostly exploring and finding out about a space that the game makers built, rather than a coherent storyline. Granted, there were blurbs popping out every time I got a mission or completed one, describing why or how my avatar needs to slay the enemies or accomplish a task. However, after the first few pop-up windows, I stopped reading the explanations and only cared about specific information, such as which creatures to find, where to find them, and how many to kill. Consequently, the amount of narrative that I took in decreased steeply during my play. Despite my lack of interaction with the storyline, I would consider World of Warcraft a game with more narrative compared to other games. For instance, a game like Candy Crush requires minimal understanding of the context and relies heavily on the rules of switching and crushing the candies.

The narrative of a game also depends on the skill level of the player. While playing WoW, I had a difficult time coordinating my finger movements—both speed and accuracy were very low—and ultimately ended up dying 30 minutes into the game. I am sure that the narrative experience would have been different for a player more skilled at video games than I am. Meanwhile, considering my experience with Doom and Myst, WoW was extremely satisfying and fun, especially because the 3D interface was smooth and easily navigable. The map was much more easily accessible than in the other two games, allowing me to find my targets or destinations without too much trouble.