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Playing with Time in Digital Fiction

Raine Koskimaa


The exceptional quality of digital fictions lies in their inherently dynamic nature, how they may be flexibly programmed to generate new content and alter the already existing contents. This adds a new temporal level, compared to traditional fictions. Digital games, especially, incorporate aspects of simulation and narration in their structure. As interactive and dynamic media form, games are specifically temporal in nature. They offer us the flexibility and preciseness of digital simulations, with the potential of psychologically engaging narrative qualities, which together open up a whole new field of experimenting with temporally dynamic media. Much of the new media fictions partake in a wider transmedia story worlds with temporal implications of their own. In this article the temporal dimension of the digital fictions the Braid (by Jonathan Blow, 2008) and the Spore (by Will Wright for Maxis, 2008) are discussed. We will focus on how these digital fictions, employing aspects of simulation, play and narration, highlight the idea of time as resource.


the Braid (game); digital fiction; fictional time; narration; the Spore (game); simulation; temporality

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2015-001-kosk

International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X

Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.

Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)

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