Rennick S & Roberts S (2021) Improving video game conversations with trope-informed design. Game Studies: the international journal of computer game research, 21 (3). https://gamestudies.org/2103/articles/rennick_roberts
This paper examines tropes in video games pertaining to conversations between player characters and Non-Player Characters (NPCs). Drawing from the fields of pragmatics and Conversation Analysis we show how these tropes differ from real, face-to-face conversations. We demonstrate how politeness theory (how to avoid unsociable, face-threatening behaviour) can help us understand when and why conversations with NPCs disrupt player immersion. Based on these insights we propose alternative designs to improve immersion. We call this approach Trope-Informed Design: tropes are tools that can make or break a player’s experience. Considering how and when to perpetuate, subvert, or transcend tropes can help guide designers in improving their game mechanics.
immersion; NPC dialogue; conversation analysis; linguistics; tropes
Game Studies: the international journal of computer game research: Volume 21, Issue 3