Michael Abbott of the Brainy Gamer has a nice little roundup of some of the current thinking on narrative designs in games — it's nice to have a couple of reasonably prominent writers/designers/etc. put together in one place, with easily digestible clips. And, as usual, the comments section is just as worthy of attention as the article itself. But is this emerging collective 'manifesto' really deserving of the title 'manifesto'?:
Perhaps "manifesto" is too strong a word for what I'm describing, but at the moment I can't think of a better one. Most dictionaries define the term as a public declaration of intentions, motives or views. Beyond that simple definition, however, manifestos are intrinsically anti-status-quo. Regardless of its framework - politics, ideology or art - a manifesto is a defiant call for change and an implied "Who's with me?" All of the people I'm about to describe are plugging into something that sounds very much like a collective manifesto to me.
Many people currently writing about narrative and game design do share a lot of commonalities in thinking, so some sort of 'collective manifesto' (even just informally speaking) does make sense. Anyways, Abbott's roundup isn't particularly long, but worth a read; he's done the work for you when it comes to pulling out some particularly salient bits of the essays. Narrative manifesto [Brainy Gamer]