Abstracting Evidence: Documentary Process in the Service of Fictional Gameworlds


Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Oldenburg, A. (2017, July). Abstracting Evidence: Documentary Process in the Service of Fictional Gameworlds. The International Journal of Computer Game Research. 17:1. Retrieved from http://gamestudies.org/1701/articles/oldenburg



Documentary filmmaking and the design of videogames have often converged in the form of “docugames”, games that aspire to the form of documentary. This paper looks at a related strategy for creating content and gameplay: that of using documentary processes, such as interviews and on-location evidence collection, for games that involve varying levels of fictionalization. It will discuss abstract approaches to the idea of realism in docugames as well as traditional documentary film. It will also detail an original design project that begins with documentary evidence collection and ends with an impressionistic fictionalized narrative. It will discuss the benefits of this approach, and the seemingly paradoxical creation of a form of realism through fictionalization. Playtesting results of this experiment will be detailed and related paths will be suggested for continued exploration.