The effect of narrative elements within video games : localized setting and character motivation on audience arousal



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The creative possibilities of video games have been energized by the continual advancement of technology in the twenty-first century. Extensive research has been conducted to better understand the effects of video game audio-visual components, gaming platforms, and computer-mediated communication. The research that has investigated the influence of narrative elements has focused primarily on their interaction with aggressive game play and increased aggression. After investigation into the literature pertaining to narrative, human motivation, and arousal, this thesis discusses study results indicating a subtle, yet significant, influence character motivation manipulation has increasing audience arousal, specifically in a narrative involving a near future war plotline. Additionally, the results indicating that the localization of a narrative’s setting does not increased audience arousal any more so than a narrative setting ambiguously defined. These concepts can be useful to advertising strategists interested in developing advergames or product placements within video games, and therefore the implications of this thesis’ results and future research suggestions will be presented.