An investigation of Vladimir Propp's 31 functions and 8 broad character types and how they apply to the analysis of video games

Andrew Brusentsev*, Michael Hitchens, Deborah Richards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is concerned with answering the following question: "Is Vladimir Propp's Model (31 Functions and 8 Broad Character Types) a valid model with which to analyse games from a variety of gaming genres?" More specifically what genres of games can be analysed by this model and in what terms? Can the model only be used to analyse the story arcs of games or can it also be used for analysis of level narrative and even perhaps for dialogue between the player character and computer controlled characters? In this paper, Propp's Model will be used to analyse selected games from a variety of genres in terms of character archetypes, story arc, level narrative and character dialogue. The ability of the model to cope with in-game player decisions will also be examined. The validity of the model as a video game analysis tool is assessed and recommendations given on which video game genres the model is most applicable.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlaying the system
Subtitle of host publicationpoceedings of the 8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, 21-22 July 2012 Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
EditorsDaniel Cermak-Sassenrath
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450314107
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment: Playing the System, IE 2012 - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 21 Jul 201222 Jul 2012


Other8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment: Playing the System, IE 2012
CountryNew Zealand


  • Propp’s functions
  • video game design
  • story analysis & design

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