The Transdisciplinary Encounter of Narratology and Visual Art in MMORPGs

Marija Tavčar, Biljana Mitrović

Abstract


The aim of this paper is to present and analyze visual elements of MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game) storyworlds as important aspects of both world-building and the immersion capacity of virtual worlds. MMORPGs are characterized by multi-user environments called ‘open worlds’, in which maps and geography of space play an important role. Geography and maps that represent these geographical forms in the game play a significant role in creating the worldness of virtual space and the narratives located in them. The same goes for the features of architecture, natural or outer space expanses. Visual elements contribute to the narrative in numerous ways, which is analyzed in detail using a transdisciplinary approach – the narratological apparatus and especially the shift towards postclassical narratology. Another, but not less important visual aspect that will be presented in the paper is the importance of character appearance, as well as clothing (armors) and equipment in the context of building character identity for themself (the player) and the way they present themselves to other players. All of these aspects indicate that visual space (geographical and architectural) as well as visual characteristics of the characters have an important role in storytelling, supporting the transmedial praxis of contemporary narrative forms.

 

Article received: December 23, 2021; Article accepted: February 1, 2022; Published online: April 15, 2022; Original scholarly article


How to cite this article: Tavčar, Marija & Biljana Mitrović. "The Transdisciplinary Encounter of Narratology and Visual Art in MMORPGs." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 27 (April 2022): 103–114. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i27.495

 


Keywords


transdisciplinarity; transmediality; MMORPGs; visual storytelling; storyworld; visual art.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i27.495

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