Michail Kouratoras

Aalto University

Digital Dramaturgy & Signification: A comparative analysis between theatre & immersive gameplay semantics

My research study focuses on content and comparative analysis of immersive, ‘interactive drama’ video games, with existing, theatrical notions. It aims to analyze and understand a crucial set of determinants, which are promoting the genre to an interactive and playable, dramaturgic phenomenon; a virtual, though experiential, narrative performance. The interest is specifically on the semantics and the poetics of the game play and the narration, within their tendency for playability, interaction, agency, cruelty, non-linearity, choices-making, emergence, configurability and structuralization. The thesis of the research is that these fundamental characteristics of immersive and ‘interactive drama’ video games are directly related with specific concepts and forms of pre-existing theatre and performance arts. Thus, in order to deeply understand their current dramatic and cultural functions, inside their innovative, interactive and playable forms (as video games), we still need to look at the cultural and artistic past. The objective of the research is to deepen the understanding on these specific and essential for the genre, topics and to gain additional knowledge on their dramatic and aesthetic functioning.