Everything tells us a story. Human beings have natural connections that make them very sensitive to narratives.
We create internal ones and receive external ones. The internal ones are personal to each one and depend on a whole series of factors. External ones arrive massively in recent times.
When I was 12 and in my little room playing with my Game Gear, the only external narrative was “orders from above”.
Today, when I’m relaxed playing on my smartphone, I’m constantly being stimulated by other narratives. Notifications, messages, calls.
As you can imagine, this impacts the storytelling of the gameplay experience I receive.
Some of my favorite games take 10 seconds to start. They show me the main screen and, while I check the things to do, a series of messages and offers appear. I have to close windows to continue with what I want to do.
In some cases, there is interesting news, no doubt. But everything contributes to creating narratives. It’s not the same as placing a pop-up in front of me or seeing a bird fluttering over the city I’m building and deciding to capture it to discover that it contains a message…
Especially if, at the same time, my wife is reminding me that I have to buy bread and I get an important email from a client.
External narratives are getting complicated and that makes my job more interesting.