Year of Graduation
The Evolution of Dramaturgical Devices in Horror Video Games
Faculty of Media Communications
The present dissertation is dedicated to the analysis of the peculiarities and the evolution of dramaturgical devices in horror video games. The work consists of three chapters and the list of 79 references.The aim of this study is to determine the evolutionary processes that have affected the dramaturgical structure of horror video games.The first chapter is devoted to the examination of the existing approaches to the analysis of video games at the whole and theoretical developments related to horror video games in particular. Interactivity as a term is being defined and dramaturgical principles of video games are being examined. The final part of the first chapter presents the methodology of studying dramaturgy in video games based on the theory of the classical dramaturgy and of the theory of interactivity.The second chapter is dedicated to the peculiarities of the horror genre. The dramaturgical attractions which appear to be the formulaic elements and the driven force behind the horror plots are closely analyzed. Cawelti's formulaic theory, Carroll's theory on the narrative logic of horror and Kristeva's theory of abjection are examined in the second part of the chapter. The final part of the second chapter of the thesis is focused on the dramaturgical conventions which are typical for the horror genre. These conventions include, for example, the closed world, attractions, limited ammunition and puzzles.The third chapter includes the dramaturgical analysis of a number of popular survival horror video games on the basis of which a comparative-historical analysis was conducted.In the course of this analysis, the series of repetitive dramaturgical elements used in survival horror (beginning with the first horror games) were revealed, and particular cases of the undermining of strong conventions were analyzed. The conclusions drawn from the empirical part of the research are presented in the table in the second part of the third chapter. The main stages of the development of survival horror genre can be found in this table.This dissertation also includes the analysis of some aspects of the game mechanics which, in turn, determines the nature of player’s interactions with the game. Our analysis proves that the way, in which interactivity has evolved, affected the revolutionary changes which completely changed such dramaturgical conventions of horror video games as closed world.