Non-Consistent Narration

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Story-telling in a game which is not internally consistent.

Many games do provide narration of events as gameplay progresses. However, in some games - especially massively multiplayer online games - parts of the narration is used several times either to different players or to the same players. This causes the games to have Non-Consistent Narration in that events that have taken place in the game world are ignore by the games' own narrations.

Note: Story structures in games can be inconsistent in many other ways that than through having parts reused several times. However, this patterns is limited to that type of inconsistency.


The quests in Massively Multiplayer Online Games often create Non-Consistent Narration since they are given to any players that meet certain progress requirements, and this may include giving the same quests several times to players. Examples of games where this happens include DragonMud, Everquest, and World of Warcraft.

Using the pattern

Non-Consistent Narration is a way to modify Narration Structures, typically be re-using story element such as Quests, Adventures or Campaigns. The use of Non-Consistent Narration requires choosing what parts of the Narration Structures should be re-used and how to handle that players can notice the inconsistency.

Instances are often used with Non-Consistent Narration since these can provide secluded parts of Game Worlds which can both isolate the Non-Consistent Narration so it is only presented to those taking part in a specific Quest, Adventure etc., and create gameplay challenges specific for those players.

Narrative Aspects

Non-Consistent Narration is a Narration Pattern.


Repeated use of the same story structures causes Non-Consistent Narration to limit players from having an Exaggerated Perception of Influence. This since their part of a game's narration is reduced (although players may reap many other advantages related to gameplay functionality or social status from being involved in these story structures).

As soon as part of the Non-Consistent Narration is done through Dialogues, the pattern is very likely to make Thematically Consistent Dialogues impossible in that those participating in the Dialogues are ignoring that they have already said these things before.


Can Instantiate


with ...

Can Modulate

Adventures, Campaigns, Narration Structures, Quests

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Exaggerated Perception of Influence, Thematically Consistent Dialogues


New pattern created in this wiki.