Ken Levine on 'Narrative Drive'

While I remain unimpressed with much of the discussion surrounding BioShock, Gamasutra has a reasonably interesting interview up with Ken Levine on 'narrative drive' and some aspects of telling stories in games. On the unreliable narrator, he's got this to say:

It's about... I didn't mention this in my presentation, I keep forgetting to... it's about damaging not the character, but damaging the player. I think insulting the player is something... to put the knife in his back, not just the character's back. Because every game has the knife go in the character's back.

But if your perception of reality is screwed with, and you're basically played for a sucker, people have an emotional response to that. It's like when you read people saying, "I just put down the controller and walked away from the game for a minute." That doesn't happen when your character gets thrown off a roof and knocked unconscious, or gets shot at and wounded.

Even if you're tired of BioShock, it's an interesting interview that hits on a number of issues.

Ken Levine on BioShock's Narrative Drive


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