What is it about?

This article offers a set of terms to analyze the relationship between story and gameplay in videogames. I use musical theory to define the terms as 'ludonarrative harmonies', 'ludonarrative consonance', 'ludonarrative dissonance' and 'ludonarrative cacophony'. Then I explain these with examples from Cyberpunk 2077.

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Why is it important?

This article aims to rehabilitate the term 'ludonarrative dissonance' to be used in a more objective manner and to provide a new analytical tool for videogames.


This is my submission to the Game Analysis Workshop (COVID edition). I initially had a tripartite analytical method where a game could also be graded in its immersivity and ludonarrative balance. I decided to keep the central axis of consonance and focus on explaining why my interpretation of 'ludonarrative dissonance' is more helpful.

Diego Saldivar

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This page is a summary of: Cyberpunk 2077: A case study of ludonarrative harmonies, Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, April 2022, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/jgvw_00050_1.
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