Chapter 4. Abstraction

The Problem of Plot Versus interactivity, discussed in Chapter 3, sometimes takes another form: control versus interactivity. In its simplest form, the problem is phrased as follows:

If the story is to be truly interactive, then the player must be able to change the story. But, if the player changes the story, then the artist cannot control its development and the player will likely ruin the story.

The solution to the problem is, in a word, abstraction. Let’s look at some examples of how abstraction has solved some analogous problems.


The problem of exercising control over a complex system is an old one, and in every case, we find that the solution has always been to resort to higher levels of abstraction. For example, ...

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