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Embodied VisionsEvolution, Emotion, Culture and Film$
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Torben Grodal

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371314.001.0001

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Stories for Eyes, Ears, and Muscles

Stories for Eyes, Ears, and Muscles

The Evolution of Embodied Simulations

(p.158) 7 Stories for Eyes, Ears, and Muscles
Embodied Visions

Torben Grodal

Oxford University Press

The chapter discusses how storytelling represents an innate mental capacity to synthesize an agency’s perceptual input, its emotions, and its output in terms of action. Insight into the architecture of the embodied brain and the PECMA flow clarifies how to understand the psychological function of stories and storytelling. The chapter further describes the way that different media—language and oral storytelling, drama, written stories, film, and video games—use different aspects of the mental “storytelling” that characterizes our ordinary experience of daily life and its actions, and it describes the historical development in narrative techniques of representation in different media. It uses this narrative theory to redefine the story-discourse dichotomy, and to argue that film narratives are typically experienced as taking place in a kind of presence, and also discusses the relation between narratives and playing games vital for interactive media. Finally, it discusses the relationship between storytelling interactivity and linearity and shows that there are a number of psychological and motivational reasons that nonlinear storytelling is difficult, and that many so-called nonlinear formats consist in fact of sets of linear stories.</ABS>

Keywords:   narrative theory, video game theory, video game theory, evolution of media, linearity-nonlinearity, film theory, story/discourse

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