Narrativization of Play on YouTube: The Templin Institute’s Stellaris: Invicta

Tonguc Ibrahim Sezen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In 2018 the YouTube lore channel The Templin Institute started a video series called Stellaris: Invicta, based on the narrativization of playthroughs of Paradox Interactive’s critically acclaimed science fiction strategy game Stellaris. It consisted of let’s play streams and in-universe mocumentaries chronicling playthroughs as a historical saga. The producers opened polls and discussion boards to involve the audience in their decision-making processes. The audience voted on the characteristics of the hero civilizations, provided ideas for custom content, and contributed to important strategic decisions.

Stellaris: Invicta exemplifies how narrativization of gameplay can be expanded and transformed through collective interventions to play and authoring processes. The project is an amalgam of professional video game broadcasting, emergent narratives, distributed creativity, and transmedia production in the form of paratextual narrativization of play. This narrative is shaped through interactions between the game system as the narrative engine, the producers as tactical decisionmakers, and the audience as strategists. In this regard, this paper will investigate the intersection between collective play and narrativization in Stellaris: Invicta and ask how this paratextual production transformed a single player game into a collective multifaceted story generation experience withing the constraints of YouTube as a platform.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022
Event2022 International Conference on Narrative - University of Chichester, Chichester, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 20221 Jul 2022
Conference number: 37


Conference2022 International Conference on Narrative
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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