Of course not all video games have narrative, and not all narratives are complex. Angry Birds, for example, has a narrative though it is a very weak one (pigs have stolen the eggs...go get them back). Other games, like the Legend of Zelda series have more complex, pre-planned stories with the addition of sub-plots and side quests. Some games are so open that there is no story line. Players create the story as they go in massive multi-player settings.
The question I'm facing now is...what model should be used to format the course for next year. In the pilot year of EBL, there was little/no narrative used. The metaphor for "quests" and "XP" and "badges" were in place but students really had no sense of identity, characters, avatars, or challenges in completing the task. It has had many advantages, but narrative is a key missing piece. Even though this year is still 75 school days away from completion...the next round planning begins today.
If you're reading and have any ideas, let me know. I'd really love to hear from students and teachers in order to get a varied perspective. Until then, enjoy the lazy Sunday! (and take a break to watch House of Cards Season 2!)