Sarah Salajka

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Eric Smith

Committee Member

Joseph Conway

Committee Member

Beth Boswell


Video games, Storytelling, Utopias in literature, Outer Wilds (Game)


Video games have evolved from simplistic marks moving on a screen to a diverse and inventive storytelling medium unique from other narrative forms. They allow for new methods of approaching traditional literary forms, such as the utopia. The utopian genre has seen a series of formal changes as social and historical contexts changed over time. This thesis proposes a new approach to the utopian genre borne from the current inability to imagine a future. While previous literary versions of utopia were expressed by moving forward through time or displacement through space, current social and environmental circumstances render this impossible, and so, new time and space must be explored. This thesis explores this concept through the 2019 indie game Outer Wilds in which the protagonist is forced to turn to new concepts of time and space as the current universe is destroyed.



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