Elden Ring (FromSoftware)
with Noah Pedinelli (host), Jeremy Andriano, and Alexander Hurezeanu
Broadcast date: April 11th, 2023
Writer: Noah Pedinelli
Producer: Jeremy Andriano
2022’s Elden Ring is the latest release from legendary Japanese game development studio From Software and the auteur game designer Hidetaka Miyazaki. His creations, from 2009’s Demon Souls through the Dark Souls Trilogy and beyond, are often defined by what is considered to be their punishing difficulty. However, in this episode we discuss whether Elden Ring’s stands out not for its difficult gameplay, but for its unique narrative delivery.
The player enters the game’s world at a point in time long after the cataclysmic events of the story have already occurred, leaving everything in a state of ruin. The player is free to explore the wreckage, sifting through what is left of the “Lands Between” in an attempt to reconstruct the stories of this world: what happened to bring things to such a state?
Sources and Resources:
- Elden Ring Wiki
- Franziska Ascher, “Narration of Things: Storytelling in Dark Souls via Item Descriptions.” First Person Scholar, April 22, 2015.
- Ian Bogost, Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames. The MIT Press, 2010.
- Kerry Brunskill, “The less I try to ‘git gud’ at Elden Ring, the more I love it.” PC Gamer, April 10, 2022.
- Katherine Isbister, How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design. The MIT Press, 2017.
- Jesper Juul, “A Clash between Game and Narrative.” Paper presented at the Digital Arts and Culture conference, Bergen, Norway, November 1998.
- Florence Smith Nicholls and Michael Cook, “The Dark Souls of Archaeology: Recording Elden Ring.” Paper presented at the 17th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, Athens, Greece, November 2022.
- Jamie Redgate, “Hidetaka Miyazaki”s Middle-Earth.” Unwinnable Monthly, issue 138, April 12, 2021.
- Richard Rouse, “Heavily Authored Dynamic Storytelling in Church in the Darkness.” Procedural Storytelling in Game Design, edited by Tanya X. Short and Tarn Adams. CRC Press, 2019.
- Rich Stanton, “What did George RR Martin do for Elden Ring anyway?” PC Gamer, March 15, 2022.
- Daniel Vella, “No Mastery Without Mystery: Dark Souls and the Ludic Sublime.” Game Studies, volume 15, issue 1, July 2015.
- Joshua Wolens, “One year on, there have been more deaths in Elden Ring than there are people living on Earth.” PC Gamer, March 20, 2023.