="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 512 512">

Chapter 4: Plotting: Scenes, Sequels, and Narrative

Novel Scenes vs. Game Scenes

Melissa Ford Lucken

There are distinct differences between video game scenes and novel scenes due to the interactive nature of video games. Here are some key contrasts:


Video game scenes are interactive and allow players to actively participate in the story. Players have control over the protagonist’s actions and decisions, which can influence the outcome of the scene and the overall game. In a novel, the reader is a passive observer and does not have direct control over the events or choices within the scene.

Visual and Audio Elements

Video game scenes leverage visual graphics, animations, sound effects, and music to create an immersive experience. The player can see and hear the game world in real-time. Novels rely on descriptive language to evoke imagery and engage the reader’s imagination.

Gameplay Mechanics

Video game scenes often involve gameplay mechanics, such as puzzles, combat, exploration, or dialogue choices, which provide interactive challenges and opportunities for player agency. Novel scenes, on the other hand, focus on narrative progression through descriptive prose and character development.

Nonlinear Narrative

Video game scenes can be part of a nonlinear narrative structure, allowing players to experience the story in different sequences or make choices that alter the plot trajectory. This branching narrative approach is not typically found in novels, which follow a linear narrative structure.

Multiplayer and Social Interaction

Video game scenes can incorporate multiplayer features, allowing players to interact with others in cooperative or competitive gameplay. This social aspect is not present in traditional novel scenes, which are read individually.

Medium-Specific Advantages

Video game scenes have unique advantages, such as the ability to provide immediate feedback, adapt to player choices, and create a sense of presence within the game world. Novels, on the other hand, offer deeper introspection, access to character thoughts and emotions, and the ability to explore complex themes and literary techniques through prose.

While both video game scenes and novel scenes serve the purpose of storytelling, they cater to different mediums and engage audiences in distinct ways. Video game scenes prioritize interactivity, visual and audio immersion, and player agency, whereas novel scenes rely on descriptive prose, reader imagination, and a more contemplative reading experience.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Novel Scenes vs. Game Scenes by Melissa Ford Lucken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book