The purpose of this study was to examine the narrative dimensions of Dark Souls, a role playing video game produced by From Software in 2011. This study used rhetorical criticism, specifically narrative criticism to analyze the text, and the game’s visual narrative looking specifically at locations and items in the game that give the player more information about the world. This study also used an autoethnographic approach along with interactive storytelling. To accomplish this task, the author played Dark Souls to its completion, carefully going through the areas of the game to uncover parts of the story using Fisher’s narrative paradigm, Hemingway’s theory of omission, and Lebowitz’s concepts of interactive storytelling, all as methods of research. The results shown look at the games story uniquely told through the different types of narratives in the game and the connections that they have. The author looked at specific examples of these types of narrative in the game by examining a zone, a character study of one of the characters in the game, as well as personal narrative through an autoethnographic lens. These narratives then showed how they relate back to the main story of the game and show why the story of Dark Souls is not only important to game studies but interactive narrative overall. This study found the connection between the main narrative and other narratives that are in the game’s world, but also shows the connection between side plots and objectives that connect not just back to the game’s main narrative’s buts its overall mechanics and gameplay elements as well.


Nikoi, Nii


Communication Studies


Communication Technology and New Media | Fiction | Other Film and Media Studies


Autoethnography, interactive narratives, narrative criticism, narrative theory, RPG, video games

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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