Storytelling Through Visual Media: Analyzing Video Game Cutscenes Through a Filmic Lens, Square Enix Focus




Simmons, Lauryn

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Visual media consists of information in the form of visual representations. Some of the primary types of visual media are graphics, photo, and video, which are all used in video game mediums. With some of the best-selling video game franchises having been developed by Square Enix, a selection of their games was chosen for this essay to help answer this question: how do the methods of narrative design impact the level of cinematic style in each game? The games chosen for this essay include Neo: The World Ends With You, Tomb Raider (2013), Kingdom Hearts III, and Final Fantasy VII (original and remake). By examining multiple video game cutscenes from this selection, the purpose of this analysis is to use a filmic approach to determine a connection between elements and methods of filmmaking and the cinematic structure of video games. Research will also include a look into the development of cutscenes of Square Enix franchises over the past few decades, examining the relationship of the interactivity between the narrative and the player of video games in comparison to the interactivity of the narrative and the audience in film, and concluding with a prediction for the future of cutscenes and their role in video game narrative structure and design.



cinematic storytelling, cinematic, video game, cutscenes, film, Square Enix, Honors College


Simmons, L. (2022). Storytelling through visual media: Analyzing video game cutscenes through a filmic lens, Square Enix focus (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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