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Heavy Hero or Digital Dummy? Multimodal Player–Avatar Relations in Final Fantasy 7

Burn, Andrew and Schott, Gareth (2004) Heavy Hero or Digital Dummy? Multimodal Player–Avatar Relations in Final Fantasy 7. Visual Communication, 3 (2). pp. 213-233. ISSN 1470-3572

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Abstract

This article analyses the player-avatar relation in Final Fantasy 7, drawing on multimodality theory to analyse textual structures both in the game and in the discourse of player-interviews and fan writing. It argues that the avatar is a two-part structure, partly designed in conventional narrative terms as a protagonist of popular narrative, and partly as a vehicle for interactive game-play. The former structure is replete with the traditions and designs of Japanese popular narrative, oral formulaic narrative and contemporary superhero narratives; and is presented to the player as an offer act – a declarative narrative statement. The latter is a construct of evolving attributes and economies characteristic of roleplaying games; and is presented to the player as a demand act – a rule-based command. Though these two functions separate out in the grammar of player and fan discourse, it is their integration which provides the pleasure of gameplay and narrative engagement.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Learning, Curriculum and Communication
IOE Departments > Departments > London Knowledge Lab
IOE Departments > Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 11 May 2010 14:49
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:37
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/4250
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