Narrative Time in Computer Games - Frequency

Karin Wenz, Assistant Professor of English, University of Kassel

Frequency or repetition seems to be a time-category which is applicable to computer games. The example of Myst shows that frequency is one of the most important categories. The library - which is the central place in Myst- has to be visited several times to insert the pages into the books or to find information about the codes. As the player has to return to it again and again, the temporal structure of  Myst can be described better as cyclical than as chronological. The cycle of events leads to the final event and the solution of the mystery of this game. It is not the sequenceof events or their causal order that make us understand the final event, but their function as elements in a puzzle which has to be composed.

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