Tuesday April 25, 2017

Video Games Are Better without Stories

As someone who appreciates other forms of art that are powered by narratives such as movies and books, I can’t agree with this guy at all, but I know there are others like him out thereآ—just look at all the successful multiplayer games out there, many of which lack any kind of story. Personally, I feel that the absence of relatable characters or an engaging narrative makes the entire experience soulless, but what do you think? I find this author’s argument ridiculous, actually, since he is questioning why games even bother telling stories when the creators could just do it in another medium. Why not, I say.

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Players and creators have been mistaken in merely hoping that they might someday share the stage with books, films, and television, let alone to unseat them. To use games to tell stories is a fine goal, I suppose, but it’s also an unambitious one. Games are not a new, interactive medium for stories. Instead, games are the aesthetic form of everyday objects. Of ordinary life. Take a ball and a field: you get soccer. Take property-based wealth and the Depression: you get Monopoly. Take patterns of four contiguous squares and gravity: you get Tetris. Take ray tracing and reverse it to track projectiles: you get Doom. Games show players the unseen uses of ordinary materials.