Half-Real : Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds

Jesper Juul

The MIT Press, ISBN 0262101106
The old Ludology vs. Narratology antithesis in the game studies field hides the fact that they are two different points of reference (represented by the rules and the storytelling) that in the end could be considered to be not opposite at all, but equally important, if interpreted as complementary. This text, as its title refers to, is focused on the hybrid dimension of the videogames between the reality of the personal involvement and the fiction of the characters on the screen. The theory is that this potential balance in not unrealistic, but proven in the details of the mutual interdependence with many examples. The rules are perceived in many ways and are universally accepted by the gamer, in a way limiting the interaction space. So the game becomes an educational experience because the user improves his abilities with successes and failures. On the other side one of the crucial questions is: basically are the videogames still games? The answer is “maybe yes”, but thanks to the technology they can invent new narratives, impossible to construct without a computer (as it already happened to other media, print and cinema among them). The central question is the challenge to the player, being then deeply involved in what is roughly described as ‘gameplay’. This is the fulcrum that emits huge quantity of energies around, but only if the mind is aroused by the rules and at the same time fascinated by the flowing narrative.