A Reconstructed Neo-Aristotelian Theory of Interactive Drama

Zach Tomaszewski, Kim Binsted

Aristotle's Poetics has served as the basis for understanding interactive drama since Brenda Laurel proposed her neo-Aristotelian model in 1991. Michael Mateas (2004) has recently extended Laurel's model to include an explanation of user interaction. This current poetics has accumulated a number of valuable additions during its development. However, the omission of key Aristotelian features—such as the distinction between object, manner, and medium—has lead to certain tensions. Here, we trace the evolution of the current poetics in order to examine its strengths. We then propose an overhauled model that includes most of these benefits while eliminating some of the internal strain.

Subjects: 1.1 Art And Music; 1.8 Game Playing

Submitted: May 24, 2006

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