Storytelling in the Modern Board Game

Narrative Trends from the Late 1960s to Today


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About the Book

Over the years, board games have evolved to include relatable characters, vivid settings and compelling, intricate plotlines. In turn, players have become more emotionally involved—taking on, in essence, the role of coauthors in an interactive narrative.
Through the lens of game studies and narratology—traditional storytelling concepts applied to the gaming world—this book explores the synergy of board games, designers and players in story-oriented designs. The author provides development guidance for game designers and recommends games to explore for hobby players.

About the Author(s)

Marco Arnaudo is a professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he teaches classes about game design, simulations, military history, mystery fiction, and Italian literature. He is a well-known reviewer of board games, with over 1,000 video reviews.

Matthew Wilhelm Kapell worked in the Media and War & Society programs at Swansea University, United Kingdom. He lives in Roseville, California.

Bibliographic Details

Marco Arnaudo. Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6951-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3360-2
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Studies in Gaming

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. How Tabletop Games Can Tell Stories 19
2. Other Narratological Considerations 36
3. The Board Games of Dungeons & Dragons 42
4. Tolkien’s Legacy 55
5. The First Splash 68
6. Children of the Dragons 81
7. The Age of Expansion 98
8. Paragraph-Based Games 114
9. Overproduction and Its DisTable of Contents
10. The New Board Games of Dungeons & Dragons 142
11. Return of the ­Story-Driven Board Game 154
12. How We Stopped Worrying About Replay Value and Learned to Love the Story 179
Epilogue 190
Glossary 195
Chapter Notes 199
Bibliography 209
Index 219