Coming out of the University of Innsbruck and Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, we have some research that probably won’t set the world on fire, but is interesting nonetheless. The study looks at the benefits of narration in video games on the players experience and satisfaction, in addition to the benefits towards theory of mind (We’ll talk about what that is a little later). It’s a pretty jargon heavy and technically written piece of research, but it’s worth a read if you’re interested in how a narrative can change a player’s experience.
You may be saying: “Hey! That sounds pretty obvious you dolt!”. I would first ask you to not call me a dolt (You know how that makes me feel…) and secondly I would say it’s a little more complicated than it sounds. Essentially the researchers found that narrative games create immersion that allows for players to better develop a sense of understanding towards the thoughts and beliefs of others (via those of in-game characters), in addition to finding that narratives in game increases satisfaction in players. The finding towards theory of mind (which I terribly boiled down above) are small, but beneficial. The uses for such benefits could be used in future practices with an example being in working with kids with social development issues.
I told you it wouldn’t set the world on fire with fascination. Hey, not all research studies can be exciting pieces that reveal to you that all gamers have a slight sexual attraction to plumbers because of Super Mario Land 2**** (Specifically that game, for whatever reason)
**** Research is in the process. Please don’t steal my brilliant idea