Experiencing narrativity

There’s a philosophical article that talks about the way that people experience their own lives, if they reflect on their lives as they live it, turning it into a story, or if they live day-to-day, not really connecting their present-self to their past- and future-selves. He he refers to them as diachronic and the familiar gaming term, episodic.

While the article focuses on the ethical impact those differing points of views can have, it’s interesting to consider how these two types of people could approach gaming differently. Likely the narrativistic folks would enjoy role-playing games and first-person games with a story-focus as well as sim games that involve development and growth or strategy games like chess that involve thinking many moves ahead. Versus episodic folks who might prefer more abstract content who might lean towards in-the-moment fighters and shooters, games based more on twitch reflexes or puzzle-based games.

On the other hand, it could affect their play style if they did play the same games. I have friends who don’t really enjoy RPG games because they can’t play as characters other than the type of person they see themselves as. They don’t like playing evil characters they can’t separate themselves choosing an “evil” option from a character being evil. Maybe the people who play FPS shooters and prostitute-beating games need to be able to just play in the moment and separate that from their past- and future-selves.

I’d be interesting to see some studies in this area, I’m sure they exist…