Remembered for its lush visuals and its impenetrable puzzles, Myst (1993) was a groundbreaking series whose influence on the medium of digital games can still be felt today. Weaving storytelling and puzzle-solving together, Myst constructs an elaborate transmedial family saga rife with issues of imperial conquest and subjugation the joy of exploration mingled with the destructive forces that arise from the meeting of worlds. But while the narrative material alone is rich enough for analysis, it only becomes more significant when viewed in relation to the nature of the games. By avoiding all reference to their own gameness, and by situating the player as merely a pair of disembodied eyes within the environment, the games allow for deep immersion in a fantastical world with its own internal coherence a world that offers the player the chance to become a virtual, bodiless tourist, venturing into a realm of infinite exotic landscapes to be visually consumed and conquered. Thus the appeal of the game itself is correlated with the postcolonial power-conflicts at the heart of the narrative a connection that raises questions not only about the relationship of game and narrative, but also about the source of our desire for "Myst-like" games.
Thesis (M.A.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2013
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Using the hypertext -- Conclusion -- "The meeting of worlds" DVD (or supplemental files) -- Appendix.
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