Virtual environment design and storytelling in video games | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-3550
  • E-ISSN: 2040-3569



Video games have been the focus of discussion by researchers of gaming and narratology regarding their narrative capabilities for quite some time. While some researchers argue that interactive media such as video games should not be designed around a narrative due to their inherent, non-linear nature, others suggest that when analysing video games as a narrative medium a different approach may also be considered. Given that the sequence of events that are presented to the user are not as ordered as they are in traditional narratives, it can be surmised that the traditional definition of narrative (a sequence of events) would not apply in the case of video games. However, this should not mean that the medium cannot contain narrative qualities; it only raises the need to a new approach for the consideration of narratives in video games. In this article I suggest that instead of using the traditional narrative arc as a basis for evaluation for narratives in video games, one may also consider the indigenous qualities of the medium itself in terms of its narrative capabilities. Focusing on environment design in virtual worlds by examining how they are designed, authored and presented to the user, and how they are tied to the narrative design of a game, I aim to point out the ways in which game mise-en-scènes are used as storytellers in their own rights and may be sufficient in narrating a scene.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): game design; level design; narrative; video games; virtual environments
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