Topic – How can studies in gaming narratives help us understand interactive dramaturges in the digital score musicking?

This was the fourth in a series of trans-disciplinary discussions with experts from a range of fields to enhance the theoretical understanding of the digital score. The aim of this series is exploratory and openness so that we expose, rather than close, new insights that help us understand meaning-making in digital score creativity.

Among many invaluable topics and contributions these insights emerged as critical:

  • understanding interactive/ gaming narratives from the perspective of a continuum of [progression] to [emergent] is a useful way to frame the different creative options in digital score musicking. Progression = logical sequences (maths-based triggers) whereas emergent = open play and experiential focus
  • Goal and feedback are crucial elements in a musician’s reading of a digital score
  • micro (in-game) and macro (outside looking in) involvement can be an interesting way to build social participation other than the single notion of a “performer”. Juul and Calleja both point to how this is still an embodied interaction and a relevant experience
  • The spatial nature of games/VR/mediated digital scores can lead to new and innovative modes of “experiencer” beyond the traditional “sit-down-and-shut-up” mode of the audience. using the example of MMOG such as Fortnight, there are many different constellations of activity and game-play on the same island. Perhaps a digital score can open out its understanding of mode-of-experience and build around those innovations
  • games/ digital score should consider their “aboutness” – what is the purpose of the experience and how do musicians embed these into technology and communicate these? As an extension to this idea read Harold Cohan’s paper ‘On Purpose’ available online here