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      Designing Dramatic Play: Story and Game Structure

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      Proceedings of HCI 2010 (HCI)

      Human Computer Interaction

      6 - 10 September 2010

      Design, Human Factors, Theory

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          Drama in games is created by the interplay of the narrative structure of story and the ludic structure of challenges. In this paper, we combine Csikszentmihalyi’s model of engagement and flow with Freytag’s pyramid, a model of narrative structure. Using this combination, we explore the dramatic structure of Halo: Combat Evolved, comparing ludic and narrative structures at each stage of the game. Based on our analysis, we recommend that game designers recognise the importance of psychological states beyond flow, and structure gameplay to lead the player on a journey through different states. In particular, we defend the idea of pushing the player out of their comfort zone early in the game to provide motivation and positive stress, and ending the game with challenges below the player’s level of expertise, to allow them to relax, reflect, and experience a sense of closure.

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          Digital game-based learning: Towards an experiential gaming model

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            Confusion and controversy in the stress field.

             H Selye (1975)
            An attempt is made to further clarify present areas of controversy in the stress field, in response to a two-part article by Dr. John W. Mason which concludes in this issue of the Journal of Human Stress. The author tries to elucidate each source of confusion enumerated by Dr. Mason. The continued use of the word "stress" for the nonspecific response to any demand is deemed most desirable. The once vague term can now be applied in a well-defined sense and is accepted in all foreign languages as well, including those in which no such word existed previously in any sense. Subdivision of the stress concept has become necessary as more recent work has led to such notions as "eustress," "distress," "systemic stress" and "local stress." Confusion between stress as both an agent and a result can be avoided only by the distinction between "stress" and "stressor". It is explained that the stress syndrome is--by definition--nonspecific in its causation. However, depending upon conditioning factors, which can selectively influence the reactivity of certain organs, the same stressor can elicit different manifestations in different individuals.

              Author and article information

              September 2010
              September 2010
              : 448-452
              University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore

              Queensland, Australia
              © Ben Rolfe et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of HCI 2010, University of Abertay, Dundee, UK

              This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

              Proceedings of HCI 2010
              University of Abertay, Dundee, UK
              6 - 10 September 2010
              Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
              Human Computer Interaction
              Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
              Self URI (journal page):
              Electronic Workshops in Computing


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