Dr. Seth Hudson

Assistant Professor - Game Writing, George Mason University
Dr. Seth Andrew Hudson serves George Mason University as Assistant Professor of Game Writing in the Computer Game Design program—he teaches Story Design for Computer Games, Criticism and Research Methods, and the History of Computer Games. Hudson’s scholarship has addressed topics including international humanitarian law in games; student identity in higher education; game writing pedagogy; portfolio-focused curriculum development; and involving students in undergraduate research. Past conference engagements include GDC, DiGRA, the American Society for International Law, the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and the East Coast Games Conference.

Sessions

Joseph's Campbell's Monomyth is old; Hollywood's Hero's Journey grows more tiresome year by year. While game storytellers can still find value in understanding these basic concepts, a deeper look at what inspired Campbell, and decades of Western popular story as a result, can shed new (more) light on how to advance narrative in games.

This talk presents an accessible overview of the Jungian concepts that ground the Hero's Journey. Using examples from classic and current games, the speaker offers a series of comparisons to illustrate how the use of archetypal motifs—birth, death, mothers, fathers, apocalypse, deluge, etc.—can guide small decisions to make an impact.

Additionally, the speaker argues for the potential of motif-informed decision making to increase sophistication and inclusion in game storytelling by focusing on shared human emotions rather than formulaic structures.

Takeaways: Attendees will learn the central concepts behind the Hero’s Journey and examples of their use in games—including plot, dialog, box copy, and player experience. The speaker offers a framework for creating more impactful stories by employing archetypal motifs in decision making during the writing process.