This talk addresses the unexpected convergence of two traditionally separate media: comics, and tabletop gaming. While most games throughout history have been abstract in nature, the emergence of role-playing gaming in the 1970s has pioneered a trend of games with detailed storyworlds, unique characters, and narrative progression - in other words, games that tell stories. In Italy, story-driven games have often borrowed topics and ideas from the rich tradition of Italian adventure comics. The talk will provide a theoretical framework for the understanding of narrative games, and will then analyze several case studies of role-playing games, board games, and comics-based gamebooks that create interactive narratives shaped by the input provided by the players. Examples will cover games and gamebooks based on Corto Maltese, Dylan Dog, Tex Willer, Disney Italia, and more
Marco Arnaudo is a Professor in the Department of French and Italian at Indiana University Bloomington. His research focuses on a range of topics from Italian culture of the Baroque period to gaming culture and comics studies. His publications include a volume on the influence of Dante's Divine Comedy on early modern Italian literature, a book about storytelling in games, a book about superhero comics, a modern edition of the 17th-century erotic comedy Il natal di Amore ("The Birth of Love") by Giulio Strozzi, and a study on Baroque religious poetry. At the present time he is working on a study of enigmatology in the Italian Renaissance.
To attend this lecture, please register at this link. All times stated in Eastern time.