Vampires in video games: mythic tropes for innovative storytelling

Dillon, Roberto, and Lundberg, Anita (2017) Vampires in video games: mythic tropes for innovative storytelling. Etropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics, 16 (1). pp. 46-67.

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This paper discusses traditional vampire tropes as a tool for innovation and novel experiences in the history of video games. A selection of games and vampires will be analysed in terms of gameplay and storytelling elements to show how the rich mythology and folklore that characterises these liminal beings can be successfully employed in a variety of settings and contexts. We draw on examples from the early days of video games with titles like “Dracula” (Imagic for Intellivision, 1982) set in a virtual London and evoking European folklore, to the rich possibilities offered by “Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines” (Activision for PC, 2004) which conjures up the sub-tropical New Orleans vampire tradition, and then turn to the latest experimental games using the example of “Tainted” (ITE/NUS for PC, 2016), which taps into the rich Pontianak vampire-ghost myths of the Malay Archipelago. Different experiences will be discussed via explanatory lenses – such as Labov’s (1972, 1997) narrative analysis and the AGE/6-11 framework (Dillon, 2010, 2016) – to gain insights into how to build compelling myth-based narrative in games in original and surprising ways. The paper also analyses how specific vampire myths reflect socio-cultural issues of particular times and places. Thus, every telling of such myths – whether though oral tales, novels, cinema, or video games – brings the myth alive to engage with liminal or repressed aspects of a society.

Item ID: 49059
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-2940
Keywords: videogame analysis, game studies, storytelling, myths, vampires, Pontianak, tropics, liminal
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Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2017 01:32
FoR Codes: 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3605 Screen and digital media > 360506 Visual effects @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440107 Social and cultural anthropology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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