Is story still a misnomer in games?
“After all the incredible advances in their game engine, why does
Rockstar insist on making its story an accessory — a needless,
comparatively inferior element? More to the point, how did narrative
become such a side bar to the real point of gaming, i.e. our ability to
play out our deepest fantasies in a virtual world?” (1)
has remained icing on a gameplay cake for sometime. While previous
generations of games used story as a marketing device, due to
technological constraints, there is no reason that games should
continue to remain compulsion loop inducing click fests bent on force
feeding players stale repetitive mechanics.
“I say stop writing high-minded stories. Start writing games. And let the stories grow from them.” (1)
Superficially a seemingly simple statement, but what Justin calls for
here is something I’ve been protesting about for sometime. The
fundamental models of game production need to restructured to create
the environment for the development of these higher dramatic forms of
game, or interactive narrative.
action, is the substance that we use to externally move through life,
through reality. When video games developers stop mimicking old forms,
and start actually creating sets of proactive story/play mechanics
through which players can experience various forms of drama we will be
upon a new form of game. It’s not about better stories, but a well
crafted balance of meaningful play and story. This new form will need a
new name because many people are afraid of drama and games. Hell, some
people just want to have Wii-bowl tournaments,
know what I’m saying ese? For us seeking high-culture, we’ll need to
create a new form. The public is hungry for deep interactive stories,
rest assured narrative will prevail.
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