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Gaming the Heart of Darkness

School of Humanities, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK
Division of Games and Arts, School of Design and Informatics, Abertay University, Dundee DD1 1HG, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 26 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling)
Full-Text   |   PDF [216 KB, uploaded 4 September 2018]


The history of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has been one of adaptation and change. The enduring story is based upon Conrad’s experiences in the Congo in the 1890s and was published as a novella in 1902. Since then, the story has been criticised for racism by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe and relocated to Vietnam by Francis Ford Coppola as Apocalypse Now, influencing computer games such as Far Cry 2 and Spec Ops: The Line. In examining the adaptations of Heart of Darkness, we can consider how the story evolves from the passive reading of post-colonial narratives through to the active participation in morally ambiguous decisions and virtual war crimes through digital games: examining Conrad’s story as it has been adapted for other mediums provides a unique lens in which to view storytelling and retelling within the context of how we interpret the world. This paper compares the source material to its adaptations, considering the blending of historical fact and original fiction, the distortion of the original story for the purpose of creating new meaning, and reflects on whether interactivity impacts upon the feeling of immersion and sense of responsibility in audiences of different narratives. View Full-Text
Keywords: storytelling; digital games; transmedia; literary adaptation storytelling; digital games; transmedia; literary adaptation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Pittner, F.; Donald, I. Gaming the Heart of Darkness. Arts 2018, 7, 46.

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