Narrative Mechanics

Our book NARRATIVE MECHANICS – is now available as open access from publisher transcript. The book shows the discourse on NARRATIVE GAME MECHANICS from different perspectives in game development and game studies. It was the topic of our international conference on "Narrative Mechanics" in 2018 and 2019. The book was edited by Beat Suter, René Bauer and Mela Kocher. The anthology contains individual essays by experts and authors with backgrounds in Game Design and Game Studies, among them Mary Flanagan, Tarn Adams and Teun Dubbelman. Its focus: What do stories in games have in common with political narratives?

Our book tries to identify narrative strategies as mechanisms for meaning and manipulation in games and real life. It shows that the narrative mechanics so clearly identifiable in games are increasingly used (and abused) in politics and social life. Narrative mechanics have “many faces”, displays and interfaces. They occur as texts, recipes, stories, dramas in three acts, movies, videos, tweets, journeys of heroes, but also as rewarding stories in games and as narratives in society – such as a career from rags to riches, the concept of modernity or market economy. Below their surface, however, narrative mechanics are a particular type of motivational design – of game mechanics.

The book has been published with transcript Verlag and contains 362 pages of essays from 17 experts. It is written in English for an international audience. It is availabe as printed book since may 27, 2021 in Europe, UK and US. The price is EURO 39,00. ISBN: 978-3-8376-4304-6. But foremost, the book is available as an open access ebook from the publishers website and other repositories for open access.

Narrative Mechanics – Strategies and Meanings in Games and Real Life (get the book from transcript)


And this is where you find the book in Open Access (21/05/2022):

Google Books:

Social Science Open Access Repository:

Library Open Access:

De Gruyter Open Access (individual articles):

Transcript Verlag (with option for individual articles)

ZHdK Webshop:

University of Toyama's OPAC has individual articles (example):

Directory of Open Access Books (Links to other repositories):