New Avenues in Game Dialogue

When the Fourth Layer Meets the Fourth Wall: The Case for Critical Game Retellings (Sych 2020)

Steven Sych. When the Fourth Layer Meets the Fourth Wall: The Case for Critical Game Retellings. Proceedings of ICIDS 2020.

Abstract

Game retellings are when a player tells of the significant moments arising from their experiences of a game. It has been suggested that retellings are a marker of a game’s success, insofar as they are evidence that the game has produced something worth telling to others. This paper argues that a subset of retellings take a critical stance towards their ‘own’ game, surfacing failures and breakdowns and rendering them the objects of shared public scrutiny. These are self-reflexively critical retellings, and they present an underutilized tool for scholars and designers of interactive narrative.