To Automaticity and Beyond: Narrative Interpretation in Game and Novel


  • Margaret Mackey University of Alberta


Common wisdom often posits that game-playing is the enemy of reading, that it offers one of a plethora of “distractions” that seduce people away from the power of the printed page. In this article it is proposed that we do not to take on this stereotype, with its barely veiled assumption that reading is always, in all conditions, the superior occupation. Instead, this paper proposes to draw on two studies, conducted twelve years apart, to tease out some of the ways in which we can learn about how we interpret complex narratives through a detailed accounting by both readers and gamers of what they are doing as they proceed through the story. Reading and gaming have common elements that can help us understand how we learn to make sense of narrative.

Author Biography

Margaret Mackey, University of Alberta

Mrofessor School of Library and Information Studies University of Alberta






Reflection and Review