Un’arte che cambia profondamente il suo tempo = An art that profoundly changes its time


Abstract


Even though an increasing number of experts in popular culture has repeatedly highlighted that over the past two decades mass entertainment, notably tv series and videogames, has grown more and more sophisticated, the narratives enjoyed in this context are still often described as mercenary and useless rivals of novels and movies. Most of the detractors, indeed, hold that tv series and videogames are not as capable of conveying substantial experiences as literature and cinema; they believe, on the contrary, that these forms of entertainment are likely to miseducate people by anesthetizing their thought or by subjecting it to the will of pointless passions. In this video essay I will examine the genesis, the narrative strategies and the modes of fruition that characterize two representative products of contemporary entertainment, the videogame Detroit: Become Human and the tv series Westworld, in order to argue for a more constructive interpretation of the videogame and complex television storytelling. My claim is that the level of sophistication and self awareness of these narratives, as well as their cunning use of different strategies and genres, is commensurate with the nobler literary and cinematographic tradition: contemporary videogame and television storytelling proves to be capable of involving the users and leading them through a significant experience, both cognitive and ethical. Complex entertainment storytelling, just as literature and cinema, succeeds in triggering and developing a many-sided and flexible “multi-world” rationality as an alternative to rigid forms of thinking which no longer result suitable for understanding reality.

Keywords: Narrations; Interactive Storytelling; TV Seriality; Video Games; Narrative Revolution; Experience; Hyper-Narration; Thinking of many Worlds

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