New Media, Fall 2019/Lesson 8

From Gerald R. Lucas
Syllabus R1 R2 R3 L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L7 L8 L9 L10  
85288 nmac 4460.01 Online Fall, 2019

Narratology and Ludology
October 14–18


What is the potential for the computer to become the ultimate storytelling machine? Who might be the artists, or “cyberbards,” that create these rich, interactive narratives? How can the subtlety, nuance, and poignancy of our fine-art media — novels, theater, music — be replicated in a digital medium that uses the the essential properties of that media, rather than the relying on our old aesthetic values? In other words: how do we make immersive digital art? In addition, what relation do these immersive environments have to play? Can digital environments have the flexibility to allow for play as well as narrative?

Wikipedia Work

Complete all reading and training under Week 10 on the WikiEdu dashboard.

Read and View

View Janet Murray’s “Dramatic Agency: The Next Evolution of Storytelling”; “Ludology: A Study of Video Games”; and “Narratology vs. Ludology — The Debate” for an introduction to the ideas in this lesson.

Next, read chapters 1, 2, and 10 of Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck (PDFFileicon-pdf.png) if you want to know more about narratology and/or Aarseth, Mouthrop, and/or Jenkins under “Cyberdrama & Ludology” if you are more interested in the play side of this topic.

Journal Post 15

What did you get out of the assigned texts? What do they add to your understanding of new media? What do they tell us about “being digital”? How do they employ the hacker spirit? How do they fit into your experience?

See also: Murray Questions for Consideration and Ludology Questions for Consideration if you need some more guidance on how to tackle these texts.


Look at a couple of the texts under the suggested readings or find your own that address narratology / ludology.

Journal Post 16

What more did you learn or experience? How does that fit into your understanding of new media? Try to bring in several different sources to support your ideas.

Reply to at east one of your colleagues’ journal posts for this lesson.

Due Date

Please have all of the above completed by Sunday, October 20, 2019. I will evaluate your this lesson the following day, email everyone a progress report, and post audio feedback at the top of the next lesson if necessary.


  1. External sources are always footnoted as references; Wikipedia entries are always just linked in the text. Never cite a Wikipedia article like you would an external source.