Evolutionary mythology and interactive entertainment
Brass, David T.
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As literary technology continues to evolve with the advent of the internet and other storytelling mediums, so too does mythology evolve within a parallel trajectory along with the narrative structures that contain their stories. One of those emerging narrative technologies is within the interactive medium of video games. From their inception, computers and later game consoles, sought to offer new diversions to the public. Through developing advancements in computing and consoles more and more complex stories could be told. When it came to creating new virtual worlds for gamers to inhabit many digital storytellers looked to the past and the worlds of mythology. For my thesis I examine several examples of games currently available for the present video game console generation in order to examine the manner in which such mythologies emerge and are advanced, evolved, or completely remade into new narrative functions. Those functions then become involved with popular culture on a whole to form brand new narratives that are as much constructed by the many as by few. To this end I also built upon the work of previous mythological scholars and adapted their theoretical and critical work to the subject of the video game narrative and elements within. The conclusion I have come to in my work is that this medium of storytelling should not be dismissed as frivolity or mere entertainment. The evolutionary shift in mythological tropes via such narrative forms can illuminate as much cultural and sociological information about the storyteller, those who participate, and the world they inhabit, as would examinations of ancient "sacred stories" that are considered to be the bulk of contemporary mainstream mythological study.