Video game logic and cognitivist criticism Chapters and

Perhaps the most incisive challenges to canonical story construction have come from the study of interactive narrative, and from the cognitivist approach to narration. It now seems at least theoretically conceivable that the conditions of filmic comprehension and of intelligibility can be established on a basis other than the classical narrative models introduced and examined in Chapter 2, and implicitly adhered to in Chapters 3 and 4, even where we tested them by their apparent opposite: post-classical cinema, statistical style analysis, and deconstructive criticism.

At the same time, it is self-evident in the case of video game logic, and implicit also in the case of cognitivism, that the shift of paradigm and the apparent sidelining of narrative as the key principle of meaning-making has paralleled certain technological changes, such as digitization, which are transforming the cinema as well as our ways of thinking about it. Although we would not wish to put forward an argument derived from technological determinism, it is reasonable to conclude that different media practices are partly responsible for putting the classical story structure under pressure. The new technologies (of post-photographic moving images) implement new modalities of sound and image recognition and perception, which we also wanted to consider in the form of case studies:

• Luc Besson's The Fifth Element must in this situation be regarded as a hybrid, since it places itself between classical narrative and digital narrative (as represented in video games). For all practical purposes, it still behaves like a mainstream Hollywood film, at the generic cusp of science fiction and fairy-tale fantasy. However, in its story development and in its mixture of genre elements, it allows itself also to be read within another mode, that of the multi-stranded, branching, or otherwise nonlinear construction of the computer or video game, where characters are player-positions and have several lives, and where actions repeat themselves, often at another level of difficulty or in another diegetic world.

• David Lynch's Lost Highway develops, much more decisively than The Fifth Element, a radical break with classical narrative and mise en scène. In contrast to Besson (and also Spielberg: see below), Lynch does not use new technology to do so. In fact, he prides himself on sticking to conventional optical and sound technology in producing the effects in

Lost Highway: for instance, the sounds are still 'real' - i.e. the sounds of household objects such as fridges are slowed down and reversed in order to create an eerie background noise, as opposed to being synthetically created from digital sources.

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