context and decision

The Perspectivist Approach

"Earlier we called Giotto a "Perspectivist." This is to say that Giotto had an approach that allowed him to consider the painting's multiple viewers from both an emotional and dimensional perspective. The painting was then composed with that person's specific emotional and dimensional perspectives in mind. These perspectives were not separated, but parts of the same unit. The Perspectivist Approach is the fundamental mindset of any author of interactive narrative. This approach comprises two principles.

First, it bridges foreground to background. It resets the spatial relationships between people and their surroundings. The integration of the imagery with the walls of the church is as good an example of this as any. The place is a part of the experience. This is a way of looking at dimension and image from a holistic point of view. It doesn't necessarily separate the painting from the wall, but considers the totality of the environment as a single mode of communication.

Second, it bridges context to decision. The Perspectivist Approach looks at the environment and its context as being a thing that braces the actions of the occupants of that environment. A fish swims because it is in the water. A bird flies because it is in the air. St. Francis expels the demons because they're inhabiting Arezzo.

If you have foreground, background, context, and decision, you have the bricks of which the plot structures of interactive narrative are built."

Mark S Meadows
Pause & Effect: The Art of Interactive Narrative