LIFE IS A JOURNEY
Source–path–goal structure in the videogames “Half-Life 2”, “Heavy Rain”, and “Grim Fandango”
The debate between narrativists and ludologists has long enlivened discussions among game theorists. Should videogames be seen as an offshoot of (film) stories, and thus be studied primarily from the perspective of narratology? Or do they represent a truly different phenomenon, and thus require an analytic approach that has nothing to gain from narratology? In this paper we intend not so much to solve this conundrum as suggest how it has arisen in the first place, by showing what journey stories and videogames that involve the movement of the player’s avatar have in common. Our central claim is that both journey stories and such games involve physical movement and quests, and moreover are based on some sort of ‘story’, but that only the stories allow for rich mappings of the conceptual metaphor PURPOSIVE ACTIVITY IS MOVEMENT TOWARD A DESTINATION. If our explanations make sense, they can contribute both to the classification and theorization of videogames and to the expansion of conceptual metaphor theory into the realm of videogames.
Keywords: source–path–goal schema, conceptual metaphor, videogames, narratology, LIFE IS A JOURNEY
Published online: 15 July 2013
Cited by 10 other publications
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