Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences


Computer Science

Major Advisor

Jennifer Barker, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Moira O'Keeffe, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Frederick Smock, M.A.


Film, drama, and novels are each capable of telling stories in a specialized way. This thesis makes the claim that video games are the newest means of storytelling and that they can tell stories in unique and engaging ways by using choice. The first goal of this thesis is to determine how and why choice is being used by game developers by examining several modern narrative games. After this examination, it is determined that the increase of choice-driven and narrative games have had an impact on the expectations of players, the goals of video games, and on game culture itself. The narrative applications of choice that were discovered are listed towards the end of the thesis. It is found that choice can (and is currently being used by developers to) provide several benefits to the narratives in video games. In addition to the benefits of choice, it is found that it can also pose several challenges for developers to overcome.