Are Video Games the New Great Medium for Telling Stories?

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Are Video Games the New Great Medium for Telling Stories?

Storytelling has evolved through the ages, with video games being the newest medium to do it. Will games be the ultimate mode for relating meaningful stories?

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I doubt it. For every Shadow of the Colossus there are 30 Shower with your Dad simulators.

I remember from a recent vid from Super Bunny Hop talking about a conference from Riot games where they said the 3 act structure was useless, because people over time wanted to do different things.

To me I think it depends on the level design or how challenge is facilitated. Its it about progressively harder obstacles or is it about choice?

Also how content is distributed in the game makes a difference. To me story serves to motivate actions or foreshadow challenges in a game adventure, thats its main purpose.

Whats your opinion on attempts like Witcher 3 or GTA to make all activities and emergent gameplay moments that dont follow the main story of equal prominence?

Nope. Video games are poorly suited for storytelling. In a game the player needs to take an active role in what ever is going on, video games are better for simulating scenarios where the players actions may effect the outcome, which is what they already do. I guess the scenario is the story element when it comes to games, but I don't think trying to dictate the story to the player is the way to go.

edit: Also while story might be unique to human beings, games are not.

gargantual:

Whats your opinion on attempts like Witcher 3 or GTA to make all activities and emergent gameplay moments that dont follow the main story of equal prominence?

I think that this is a super interesting thing that I've also noticed happening. I just finished The Phantom Pain and felt like this was a story closer to the audience than other Metal Gear games in the past. There are events and sequences that not every player will experience, purely based on how you approached the content.

In this, the stories are becoming more personalized based on the player's point of view and how they approach it. This is a difficult trick to pull off, obviously, but I'm really interested to see where it's going.

inmunitas:
Nope. Video games are poorly suited for storytelling. In a game the player needs to take an active role in what ever is going on, video games are better for simulating scenarios where the players actions may effect the outcome, which is what they already do. I guess the scenario is the story element when it comes to games, but I don't think trying to dictate the story to the player is the way to go.

I disagree.

"1000 travel books aren't worth one real trip."

We can be told about something all day, every day, but it is rare that a told experience is as impactful as experiencing it for yourself. Video games, being a very rudimentary form of having that 'experience', are beginning to scratch the surface of that idea. In this, I do believe that games have the potential to be far more effectual.

But as I said in the article, time will tell.

Oliver B Campbell:

inmunitas:
Nope. Video games are poorly suited for storytelling. In a game the player needs to take an active role in what ever is going on, video games are better for simulating scenarios where the players actions may effect the outcome, which is what they already do. I guess the scenario is the story element when it comes to games, but I don't think trying to dictate the story to the player is the way to go.

I disagree.

"1000 travel books aren't worth one real trip."

We can be told about something all day, every day, but it is rare that a told experience is as impactful as experiencing it for yourself. Video games, being a very rudimentary form of having that 'experience', are beginning to scratch the surface of that idea. In this, I do believe that games have the potential to be far more effectual.

But as I said in the article, time will tell.

I think I get what you mean, but if the player isn't taking an active role in the activity, wouldn't that just be a computer simulation? Like a Matrix sort of thing?

inmunitas:

I think I get what you mean, but if the player isn't taking an active role in the activity, wouldn't that just be a computer simulation? Like a Matrix sort of thing?

Well the idea that I'm going with here is that a book/film is an experience told/shown, while a game is an experience lived (as close as we can currently get, safely). In this, they have a different impact on the audience.

A query for my point; we've seen plenty of movies with torture sequences, right? Now, let's look at the torture sequence in Grand Theft Auto V. I don't know about everyone else, but I walked away from that with a much different point of view, comparatively.

Not yet - they're not good enough - but it's as inevitable as the advance of technology that they will be. I just wish more developers who claim to want to get the most out of this young medium would embrace its strengths over other forms instead of just trying to make the most "realistic" or "human-looking experience".

Barbas:
Not yet - they're not good enough - but it's as inevitable as the advance of technology that they will be. I just wish more developers who claim to want to get the most out of this young medium would embrace its strengths over other forms instead of just trying to make the most "realistic" or "human-looking experience".

Yep, exactly this is what I also said. They're a good start, but they're not good enough. They're able to start exploring some ideas that can't be replicated in other mediums, but it's so rudimentary right now.

Barbas:
Not yet - they're not good enough - but it's as inevitable as the advance of technology that they will be. I just wish more developers who claim to want to get the most out of this young medium would embrace its strengths over other forms instead of just trying to make the most "realistic" or "human-looking experience".

Eh, forget the ones making them realistic or human looking, I'd rather the ones that talk about them being able to be more utilize more than the left stick/WASD and good(sometimes even amazing) art teams.

Oliver B Campbell:

Barbas:
Not yet - they're not good enough - but it's as inevitable as the advance of technology that they will be. I just wish more developers who claim to want to get the most out of this young medium would embrace its strengths over other forms instead of just trying to make the most "realistic" or "human-looking experience".

Yep, exactly this is what I also said. They're a good start, but they're not good enough. They're able to start exploring some ideas that can't be replicated in other mediums, but it's so rudimentary right now.

That's strange. How come you have two profiles?

Yeah...it's started to dawn on me now how superfluous it (my comment) was. So, to elaborate a bit, I loved what Dragon Age: Origins did as an example; it actually left me feeling a sense of loss like a friend had gone when it was finished. Looked like crap as well, though that didn't even matter at the time. I think advancements in graphics have been pretty reckless considering the shortcomings in other aspects of game design (sadly writing's a pretty frequent one), compatibility and optimization. There needs to be a minimum acceptable standard for performance before priority is given to fancy whiz-bang effects. You can have the fanciest backdrop in the world, but there's no story or "experience" to be had if the character who's meant to be looking at it is clearly a droid with the personality of a Twinkie recovered from a nuclear test site. Nothing fades like modernity and graphics appear to be advancing like the dickens, but great music and lines are timeless.

...It's a little sad that I got so excited over the Nemesis system in Shadow Of Mordor. I mean, it really was great when I played the game, but you'd think more development teams would have gotten further than that by now. And a little more in the writing department for the character would have worked wonders to complement it. The voice acting alone was remarkably good.

I guess we should be hopeful and excited. We're pretty lucky to be living in a time where advancements in this kind of technology are so rapid that the computers we use today might be unrecognizable in a decade.

Edits in bold

Yes, yes it is if we begin to take a broader stance on just what a good story can be. For the majority of the history of art in any medium, the 'story' has been solely the creation of one person (usually, though when you get into film, TV and stage-play, it is a larger group of course). Video games are the first medium which at it's heart can take the viewer as a part of the creative process, something that is fundamentally alien to the historical concept of art. It's not about holo-decks and VR and neural uplinks, it's about giving the viewer hand in the creation.

You can of course make the argument that every Call of Duty clone sullies the hope that Videogames will be a 'great medium' for storytelling, I just have to throw back at that, how many damn movie rip offs are there?

Films that are barely functional and merely exist to capitalize on other stories that were just done like Transmorphers or American Warships (to name two that jump out at me from Netflix), do they make Citizen Kane or Terminator or Metropolis worse films?

Is every cliche situation comedy TV show detracting from Band of Brothers or The Walking Dead?

Does the fact that Twilight exists mean that Shakespeare and Lord of the Rings are diminished?

Games are fantastic storytelling devices, sitting at the head of their own form of interactive media, and that style of telling a story has fantastic potential. The fact that there are pathetic games made doesn't mean that the entire idea of games as a storytelling tool should be discarded.

I watched Journey to the Moon on Netflix...and damn it's rough. But looking at what film was over a century ago and looking at what it is now, it boggles the mind. Think of the jump in storytelling in games in just 30 years, hands down, the jump is even bigger.

Silentpony:
I doubt it. For every Shadow of the Colossus there are 30 Shower with your Dad simulators.

I've never understood this stance.

Every story telling medium has but a handful of masterpieces among a deluge of rubbish. For every The Godfather there are thirty Meet the Spartans. For every Lord of the Rings there are thirty 50 Shades of Gray. Does that invalidate film or literature as quality story telling mediums?

Film making's been around for over a century. Literature for hundreds of years. Video gaming, as an industry, has been around for only a few decades.

Give it time. The medium has already shown its willingness and ability to change, adapt, and venture into old and new forms of story telling. It's far too early to say it will never reach the heights of other mediums.

gargantual:

Whats your opinion on attempts like Witcher 3 or GTA to make all activities and emergent gameplay moments that dont follow the main story of equal prominence?

My opinion on that point is....complicated. But to summarize: I feel emergent narrative is going to play a revolutionary and, ultimately, crucial role in storytelling's evolution. And at this point, video gaming is the only medium that offers a proper range of tools to create emergent storytelling.

The answer is yes, so much so that it's kinda ridiculous that this is even a question. Video games are the greatest medium for telling stories hands down, simply due to the interaction that video games can provide that no other entertainment medium can on top of being able to provide everything the other mediums can. Now, do video games often take advantage of what they can uniquely provide? Of course not, there's plenty of half assed games with little to no attempt to put any effort into the story, just like other mediums have plenty of. There's also plenty of games that are little more than interactive movies with little gameplay involved as well as really easy games that have little to no actual challenge and thus defeat the entire purpose of video games in the first place.

However, when there are good games with great stories and gameplay they are absolute masterpieces that immerse the viewer deeper than any other medium ever could, and even just sort of decent games provide more entertainment over a much greater period of time than any other medium does. What is needed is get some people with actual talent and drive making video games as a whole rather than as an exception and we'd get a lot more worthwhile games.

Barbas:

That's strange. How come you have two profiles?

Yeah...it's started to dawn on me now how superfluous it (my comment) was. So, to elaborate a bit, I loved what Dragon Age: Origins did as an example; it actually left me feeling a sense of loss like a friend had gone when it was finished. Looked like crap as well, though that didn't even matter at the time. I think advancements in graphics have been pretty reckless considering the shortcomings in other aspects of game design (sadly writing's a pretty frequent one), compatibility and optimization. There needs to be a minimum acceptable standard for performance before priority is given to fancy whiz-bang effects. You can have the fanciest backdrop in the world, but there's no story or "experience" to be had if the character who's meant to be looking at it is clearly a droid with the personality of a Twinkie recovered from a nuclear test site. Nothing fades like modernity and graphics appear to be advancing like the dickens, but great music and lines are timeless.

...It's a little sad that I got so excited over the Nemesis system in Shadow Of Mordor. I mean, it really was great when I played the game, but you'd think more development teams would have gotten further than that by now. And a little more in the writing department for the character would have worked wonders to complement it. The voice acting alone was remarkably good.

I guess we should be hopeful and excited. We're pretty lucky to be living in a time where advancements in this kind of technology are so rapid that the computers we use today might be unrecognizable in a decade.

Edits in bold

I've no clue, and I'm certainly not a British fellow! Hopefully this gets fixed by... someone. Pardon my newness.

Man, you are SO on point with this that I want to share it with everyone. Video games are still so young, and I feel like we're finally starting to really tackle what we can do with them. Just like with film, the technological aspects can end up being something that hurts the story if not addressed well.

immortalfrieza:
there's plenty of half assed games with little to no attempt to put any effort into the story, just like other mediums have plenty of.

Exactly my thought process. I like to look at video games, as a medium, like a fantastic canvas. There's so many directions that we can go with it. But just like any other canvas, someone might produce utterly terrible and forgettable works, and others will create something that will heralded for ages to come.

The problem with games is that they're made by hundreds of people who 99% of the time are not united under a singular artistic vision such as a filmmaker's, and that's if you buy into the auteur theory. When we talk about games we talk about companies. "The EA game, the Ubisoft game, the Nintendo game". Most of the time there's very little personal input into the games.

I've never played a game where I could reach out to the artist behind it, if that makes sense. I've never felt the artist, let alone the person, behind a game. I can read Raymond Carver and Sylvia Plath and Kurt Vonnegut and feel how these people bare themselves for me. I can read Aeschylus and Sophocles and Eurypides and sense how they tackle the grand questions that plagued humanity for thousands of years, before and ever since.

Games get an emotional response from the gamer. They make you happy, sad, scared, whatever. I was very sorry the horse died in Shadow of the Colossus, I thought Okami was very pretty, I got feelings of melancholy while playing ICO. And Silent Hill 2 has a tremendously heart-wrenching story. Fair enough. But I feel that, for all the emotions I find in myself, there's very little emotion in the game. You're not looking into anybody's soul. There's a lot of artistic input, but little personal input.

Most artistic decisions in a game have a practical nature. Everything serves a purpose. And if not, you compromise, because time and money. But you take a brush or a pencil and you can go anywhere you want.

It'll be a long, long time before gaming produces anything that can be compared to the literary classics.

Vigormortis:
Film making's been around for over a century. Literature for hundreds of years.

Thousands.

Yeah, engaging story's for everyone who's looking for a book or a movie to tell it.

Video Games most unique thing has been setting up a special scenario that you have to overcome/control, but the first thing a lot of people here like to make the most important is the same thing movies have been doing forever, which is just seeing the drama.

As someone that was sucked far more into games like Super Metroid and Half Life, you're just confusing your personal interests to the actual advancement. Even people here are saying they like to go through games where not everyone will experience the same thing, and while interesting, do you really believe that is the only direction to go? I'd rather play linear games that are incredibly well thought out and different than something that just gives more options.

Another thing is, every team are good at some things, not all things. You want everything perfect, but you won't get it.

Edit: Frankly, I reckon the players emotions are more important than the characters. Movies have already pulled off the set up and emotions perfectly so I never get this discussion.

Johnny Novgorod:
The problem with games is that they're made by hundreds of people who 99% of the time are not united under a singular artistic vision such as a filmmaker's, and that's if you buy into the auteur theory. When we talk about games we talk about companies. "The EA game, the Ubisoft game, the Nintendo game". Most of the time there's very little personal input into the games.

I've never played a game where I could reach out to the artist behind it, if that makes sense. I've never felt the artist, let alone the person, behind a game. I can read Raymond Carver and Sylvia Plath and Kurt Vonnegut and feel how these people bare themselves for me. I can read Aeschylus and Sophocles and Eurypides and sense how they tackle the grand questions that plagued humanity for thousands of years, before and ever since.

Games get an emotional response from the gamer. They make you happy, sad, scared, whatever. I was very sorry the horse died in Shadow of the Colossus, I thought Okami was very pretty, I got feelings of melancholy while playing ICO. And Silent Hill 2 has a tremendously heart-wrenching story. Fair enough. But I feel that, for all the emotions I find in myself, there's very little emotion in the game. You're not looking into anybody's soul. There's a lot of artistic input, but little personal input.

Most artistic decisions in a game have a practical nature. Everything serves a purpose. And if not, you compromise, because time and money. But you take a brush or a pencil and you can go anywhere you want.

It'll be a long, long time before gaming produces anything that can be compared to the literary classics.

Oh man, this is pure gold. You're really onto something here. I want to see you explore this even more so in depth. I agree that there does seem to be a missing component, the connection with the creator.

Oliver B Campbell:

immortalfrieza:
there's plenty of half assed games with little to no attempt to put any effort into the story, just like other mediums have plenty of.

Exactly my thought process. I like to look at video games, as a medium, like a fantastic canvas. There's so many directions that we can go with it. But just like any other canvas, someone might produce utterly terrible and forgettable works, and others will create something that will heralded for ages to come.

I think there's two problems with games at the moment though, one being that people are expecting that great something to come and so are constantly looking and trying to create it so much so that they're too busy looking at the finish line when the signal to start hasn't even gone off. And the other, somewhat a symptom of the first, being that people think they can do it with a shoestring budget and barely working coding skills.

I mean, by around this age with Movies, we had already had Citizen Kane and Bridge over the River Kwai and the Tom Mix's. Gaming doesn't have anything approaching that level of industry-wide marvel yet. I mean, to a point we've got the CoD's and Survival games, and Her Story I hear is getting a fair bit of attention that fulfill a part of the requirements with how prolific and how much everyone knows exactly what you're talking about when someone says something is like one of them, but nothing that's a technical marvel because every year we get new hardware and new tweaks to engines that makes them look better. Every storytelling trick is compared to Movies and Literature or shown to have come from them first. About the only thing Gaming has at the moment is the player's input, and nobody's really figured out a way to effectively and consistently get that to work. There's been some successes like with Spec Ops and pieces of Darkest Dungeon, but even they're very much split on if they're effective or not. And even Spec Ops is heavily compared to Apocaplyse Now and Heart of Darkness.

Oliver B Campbell:

Barbas:
Not yet - they're not good enough - but it's as inevitable as the advance of technology that they will be. I just wish more developers who claim to want to get the most out of this young medium would embrace its strengths over other forms instead of just trying to make the most "realistic" or "human-looking experience".

Yep, exactly this is what I also said. They're a good start, but they're not good enough. They're able to start exploring some ideas that can't be replicated in other mediums, but it's so rudimentary right now.

I don't think you need technology to tell a good story. I think the challenge is not technological, it is an artistic one: designers have to find a good way to merge good storytelling with gameplay. Technology may help but I hardly think it will be the answer. Some games already have very strong narrative elements that no other media can match like Dark Souls and The Binding of Isaac.

What technology can do is help to realistically convey some things that are limited right now (any depiction of sex, for example is limited by animation and the uncanny valley effect), like special effects did for movies. But there were good, immersive stories before Lord of The Rings. And there are good, immersive stories in videogames right now (but just a few, sadly).

Wow, guys, have a little imagination...

Film used to look like this:

Is that really so different from this?

An oddity that became a vehicle for beautiful works of art. Even novels were seen as drivel upon their introduction. Those silent films led to Vertigo, Citizen Kane, End of Evangelion, and 2001 a Space Odyssey. Who knows what early games may lead to.

But I'll take it further. The average game now is FAR better, and far more thought provoking then cinema being produced today. The superhero and action movie fare we see being produced today can't compare to Mass Effect or The Last of Us. Even the oscar films we see today are rather underwhelming. Dark Souls beats out any oscar nominated film I can think of in the last ten years, while essentially inventing a new form of narrative storytelling that's as subtle as it is highly symbolic. The only exception I can think of is Les Mis, which is an adaptation of a play, that is itself an adaptation of a fine piece of literature. That doesn't bode well for modern cinema. Otherwise, the only interesting film maker that comes to mind is Lars Von Trier, who is fairly hit and miss in the quality of his work.

Johnny Novgorod:
The problem with games is that they're made by hundreds of people who 99% of the time are not united under a singular artistic vision such as a filmmaker's, and that's if you buy into the auteur theory. When we talk about games we talk about companies. "The EA game, the Ubisoft game, the Nintendo game". Most of the time there's very little personal input into the games.

I've never played a game where I could reach out to the artist behind it, if that makes sense. I've never felt the artist, let alone the person, behind a game.

I'm not sure. I would argue that I can feel the hand of Miyazaki (Dark Souls) or Ueda (ICO, Colossus) behind their games. Besides, I think some work is a collaborative effort. Surely Silent Hill 2 is a thought provoking piece of work independently of who worked on it?

Silentpony:
I doubt it. For every Shadow of the Colossus there are 30 Shower with your Dad simulators.

And there aren't a million shit books or films? How is that a counter to....anything?

elvor0:

Silentpony:
I doubt it. For every Shadow of the Colossus there are 30 Shower with your Dad simulators.

And there aren't a million shit books or films? How is that a counter to....anything?

I think the difference is that while there's a thousand shitty indie movies, they don't get put up next to other "better" books or films as equivalent and told that they're all books or films. How many indie movies have you seen put next to blockbusters at your normal movie aisle/store/rental thingy? How many pieces of fanfic and middle school short stories are placed next to the great books?

Fox12:
Wow, guys, have a little imagination...

Film used to look like this:

Is that really so different from this?

An oddity that became a vehicle for beautiful works of art. Even novels were seen as drivel upon their introduction. Those silent films led to Vertigo, Citizen Kane, End of Evangelion, and 2001 a Space Odyssey. Who knows what early games may lead to.

I absolutely love this. I can tell from the rest of your post that you really grasped what I was getting at here and the ideas that I was exploring. We're at the start of a new type of storytelling, just like you said with novels and film. Rough as hell at first (and I think that this is the period that we're in with gaming), but then some real beautiful stuff has come from those mediums once people had a firm grasp on what could be done with it.

Your commentary is probably my favorite so far!

Oliver is on the escapist. And hes probably the first content creator i saw that is actually interacting with people.

anyway, yeah, this new medium seems to be ahead of others in its abilities. too bad so many people treat it as wanabe movie medium (im looking at you walking simulators)

Silentpony:
I doubt it. For every Shadow of the Colossus there are 30 Shower with your Dad simulators.

Doesnt matter. For every citizen cane there are 30 black ribbons. doesnt stop movies from being great.

Johnny Novgorod:
The problem with games is that they're made by hundreds of people who 99% of the time are not united under a singular artistic vision such as a filmmaker's, and that's if you buy into the auteur theory. When we talk about games we talk about companies. "The EA game, the Ubisoft game, the Nintendo game". Most of the time there's very little personal input into the games.

i really dont get this view. when i read a book i care about the book, not about its author. when i listen to music i care about the song, not the singer. when i watch a movie i care about the movie, not the conglomerate of directors and producers that makes it (very few films are anything close to auteur theory nowadays). Its the piece of entertaining that matters, not the company that made it. you dont need to look into somones soul to enjoy a game emotionally. The companies matter in as much as their policies (Ubisfts DRM for example, Nintendos lack of common sense when it comes to outside-japan markets). When it comes to the games telling a story, i dont care if poeple at EA did it or people at Nintendo did it. i care if the experience is good.

Redryhno:

I mean, by around this age with Movies, we had already had Citizen Kane and Bridge over the River Kwai and the Tom Mix's. Gaming doesn't have anything approaching that level of industry-wide marvel yet. I mean, to a point we've got the CoD's and Survival games, and Her Story I hear is getting a fair bit of attention that fulfill a part of the requirements with how prolific and how much everyone knows exactly what you're talking about when someone says something is like one of them, but nothing that's a technical marvel because every year we get new hardware and new tweaks to engines that makes them look better. Every storytelling trick is compared to Movies and Literature or shown to have come from them first. About the only thing Gaming has at the moment is the player's input, and nobody's really figured out a way to effectively and consistently get that to work. There's been some successes like with Spec Ops and pieces of Darkest Dungeon, but even they're very much split on if they're effective or not. And even Spec Ops is heavily compared to Apocaplyse Now and Heart of Darkness.

Games had marvels long time ago. for example the original Deus Ex could be used as an example of that. I never really liked Citizen Kane though so thats hardly a measure for me. (sorry, didnt see the bridge one, no idea there) Do note that if you are running technical angle, then Citizen Kane is pure manure due to it not being in color alone. so i really dont think technology increasing being the measure here is correct. If you want a "TEchnical marvel" movie - thats Camerons Avatar for you. do you really think its the best movie out there?

the whole comparison to the movies needs to stop really. games are more, far far more than movies ever can be. comparing a game to a movie is an insult to a game.

I only care for what I do in a videogame, and largely ignore what all of the other characters talk about.
So I mostly ignore the story unless I passionately hate it.
Games only need one story in them - a player's journey. Other stories are redundant. At best they are a pleasant background chatter.
Fuck stories.
Games are best when they set up a scene for the player to act. Games are worst when they climb onto a stage themselves to pretend to be books or movies and try to tell a story or something. Especially "meaningful stories". Ugh. If there is no freedom for a player to throw your precious "meaningful story" out of the window - it is probably not supposed to be a game.

Strazdas:

Games had marvels long time ago. for example the original Deus Ex could be used as an example of that. I never really liked Citizen Kane though so thats hardly a measure for me. (sorry, didnt see the bridge one, no idea there) Do note that if you are running technical angle, then Citizen Kane is pure manure due to it not being in color alone. so i really dont think technology increasing being the measure here is correct. If you want a "TEchnical marvel" movie - thats Camerons Avatar for you. do you really think its the best movie out there?

For me, one of the best examples of this is Shadow of the Colossus. I remember when it came out, I was 24 at the time. I stayed up all night until about 10am finishing it because I was ravenous for the conclusion. Sure, the story probably would have been received well as a book or film, but damn if SotC didn't pull at the heartstrings in a way that those two forms of storytelling couldn't.

I remember turning to my wife (then girlfriend) in conversation halfway through the game and saying, "I don't know, this feels wrong. I feel like I'm destroying something beautiful, something that isn't supposed to be killed." As I played through the game, I was left with a lingering feeling of those actions being my own, and understanding the point of view that Wander had. It was a great highlight on the things that we'll do as people for those who we care about. I guess we could even argue that the game itself is a metaphor for love and what lengths we'll go to for it.

I think it was in that moment that I was certain that games were truly starting to develop a capacity to push a story forward in a way that no other medium could touch.

Silentpony:
I doubt it. For every Shadow of the Colossus there are 30 Shower with your Dad simulators.

For every Foundation there are 30 Twilights

For every Citizen Kane there are literately 4 Transformers movies

For every thing I point at there are a bunch of other things I can point at.

Your opinions are stupid and I hate you. Also Shower with your dad simulator is great.

I don't think video games are all that great for telling traditional stories, I mean even Half Life 2 had to more or less stop the game entirely in order to get its story across(there is nothing wrong with that and it would be a worse game if they left that out). But I do think they are a fantastic medium for creating stories, I mean everybody has that one time they did that thing you know that really awesome thing that only shows up occasionally in a video game. For me the most recent one was in planetside 2 when I EMP grenaded three people and killed all of them face to face with my crossbow keeping the generator for our side until it finished overloading.

Also if we look at non traditional storytelling Video games have much more options available to them, I mean think about that scene in Heavy Rain with the fingers, or Pavel from Metro Last Light. I don't think either of them would be as strong if we weren't doing it ourselves. I'll confess I was shouting "Red til the end eh?" at my computer despite literally nobody being able to hear me. And that's where I think more emphasis should be put in video game Storytelling, our choices and things we have to do.

That's something books and movies can't give to us they can't make us uncomfortable about things without emphasis in the story, but a game like Shadow of the Colossus can make us think about what we're doing ourselves even though we may never actually fight a colossus in real life.

Johnny Novgorod:

Thousands.

Yeah, I know, but for some reason I had it in my head that if I actually put that down someone would get the wrong impression.

I dunno. I guess I've gotten to a point where I just assume the worst out of this forum. I just didn't want to get dragged into an argument with someone over a misinterpretation of my "facts".

Video Games are a great art form. But they are 100 years too young to compare to Cinema. And a thousand to compare to Literature...

Witcher 3 for example has so many missed opportunities and faults, that it is making me mad...
Yet it is one of gaming's absolute best...

Johnny Novgorod:
The problem with games is that they're made by hundreds of people who 99% of the time are not united under a singular artistic vision such as a filmmaker's, and that's if you buy into the auteur theory. When we talk about games we talk about companies. "The EA game, the Ubisoft game, the Nintendo game". Most of the time there's very little personal input into the games.

I've never played a game where I could reach out to the artist behind it, if that makes sense. I've never felt the artist, let alone the person, behind a game. I can read Raymond Carver and Sylvia Plath and Kurt Vonnegut and feel how these people bare themselves for me. I can read Aeschylus and Sophocles and Eurypides and sense how they tackle the grand questions that plagued humanity for thousands of years, before and ever since.

Games get an emotional response from the gamer. They make you happy, sad, scared, whatever. I was very sorry the horse died in Shadow of the Colossus, I thought Okami was very pretty, I got feelings of melancholy while playing ICO. And Silent Hill 2 has a tremendously heart-wrenching story. Fair enough. But I feel that, for all the emotions I find in myself, there's very little emotion in the game. You're not looking into anybody's soul. There's a lot of artistic input, but little personal input.

Most artistic decisions in a game have a practical nature. Everything serves a purpose. And if not, you compromise, because time and money. But you take a brush or a pencil and you can go anywhere you want.

It'll be a long, long time before gaming produces anything that can be compared to the literary classics.

I believe it was Yahtzee who said Japan has that one figured, in that they have a director, a Hideo Kojima game feels like a Kojima game, a Nomura game feels like a Nomura game, Shinji Mikami games feel like....etc. Now, I'm not saying they're on par with the classic films or books yet, but they certainly have the notion of feeling like a directors creation.

Western development doesn't really have that. Its a collective making a product, rather than 1 dude leading a team of creators.

Redryhno:

elvor0:

Silentpony:
I doubt it. For every Shadow of the Colossus there are 30 Shower with your Dad simulators.

And there aren't a million shit books or films? How is that a counter to....anything?

I think the difference is that while there's a thousand shitty indie movies, they don't get put up next to other "better" books or films as equivalent and told that they're all books or films. How many indie movies have you seen put next to blockbusters at your normal movie aisle/store/rental thingy? How many pieces of fanfic and middle school short stories are placed next to the great books?

That happens all the time on best sellers aisles for books. 50 shades or Twilight sat there for /months/ and we all know they're shockingly bad, 50 shades being retroengineered fanfiction itself.

Indie games almost exclusively get published digitally, don't bring up having loads of crap indie games and then use brick and mortar as a comparison because you're comparing apples and oranges, they're certainly not in brick and mortar stores either. I definitely didn't see revolution 60 or The Killing Grounds in my local GAME store, did you?

Theres plenty of drek on Amazon in the very same store as Dickens, Tolkien and Doyle. Indie films get to be in the same section as blockbusters in digital stores too(Netflix has shit right next to good stuff). Just because shit indie game X is in the same store as Steam and is considerably easier to self publish that doesn't mean anyone is saying its just as good as a "better" game. Similarly, Dickens is not bought down by having a dinosaur erotica in the same shop as it.

Considering how games have been telling complex, emotional stories since at LEAST the early 90s. Though it DOES annoy me how people think this is something new when in fact we've had great narratives in gaming for decades. It's just weird how pople are making a big deal about this and trying to act like we've never had plot-centric games before now.

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