‘You Were all the World Like a Beach to me’. The Use of Second Person Address to Create Multiple Storyworlds in Literary Video Games: ‘Dear Esther’, a Case Study

Colthup, Heidi (2018) ‘You Were all the World Like a Beach to me’. The Use of Second Person Address to Create Multiple Storyworlds in Literary Video Games: ‘Dear Esther’, a Case Study. International Journal of Transmedia Literacy, 4 . pp. 117-136. ISSN 2465-227X. E-ISSN 2465-2261. (doi:10.7358/ijtl-2018-005-colt)

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the problematic overlapping uses of ‘you’ within the video game Dear Esther (The Chinese Room, 2012) and how this gives rise to an uneasy and personalised experience rather than a fixed canonical reading. Dear Esther is a Walking Simulator and this type of video game is concerned with telling a story and not the conventional binary win or lose outcome of many other video games. The simple game mechanics reliant upon the player moving around a simulated space in order to learn the story means that a literary analysis is better suited to understanding the transmedia story worlds. Literary fiction uses multiple varieties of second person address to create story worlds, Walking Simulators encourage players to actively identify themselves not with but as the main story protagonist, and the use of second person address largely drives this identification.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.7358/ijtl-2018-005-colt
Uncontrolled keywords: Dear Esther (game); storyworlds; second-person address; narratology; literary video game; digital fiction; immersion
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN865 Comparative Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > English Language and Linguistics
Depositing User: Heidi Colthup
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2019 12:04 UTC
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 08:46 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/71746 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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