Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Games

Video Games and Literature 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-was-the-best-of-frags-it-was-the-worst-of-frags dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Have the storytelling capabilities of the two already met? A New Yorker interview with Gears of War 4 writer Tom Bissell explores the question. Bissell says, 'More and more, I’m seeing that games are mining good, old-fashioned human anxieties for their drama, and that’s really promising. Games, more and more, are not just about shooting and fighting, and for that reason I’m optimistic and heartened about where the medium is heading, because I think game designers are getting more interested in making games that explore what it means to be alive. ... At the same time, though, pure storytelling is never going to be the thing that games do better than anything. Games are primarily about a connection between the player, the game world, and the central mechanic of the game. They’re about creating a space for the player to engage with that mechanic and have the world react in a way that feels interesting and absorbing but also creates a sense of agency. So writing, in games, is about creating mood and establishing a basic sense of intent. The player has some vague notion of what the intent of the so-called author is, but the power of authorship is ultimately for the player to seize for him or herself.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Video Games and Literature

Comments Filter:
  • Sad. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @01:23AM (#43221015)

    More and more, Iâ(TM)m seeing that games are mining good, old-fashioned human anxieties for their drama,

    One of the most popular games right now is Minecraft. Is the most compelling aspect of the game the idea that a scary creeper could break into your house while you're asleep? Another recent high-profile release was SimCity. The only anxiety that game produced was a nearly limitless supply of frustration and anger because nobody could login to it. As I understand it, the CEO recently was forced to resign, and afterwords will drive to the nearest unoccupied house. (shrugs) One of the most popular Facebook games is Farmville... Anxiety over not getting back online to harvest in time? Or how about Angry Birds... Does the thought of an oversized cardinal levelling the building you're working in keep you up at night?

    I think the problem here is the author's choice of games, not the variety of games.

    Games, more and more, are not just about shooting and fighting, and for that reason Iâ(TM)m optimistic and heartened about where the medium is heading,

    Yet, what's the example you quoted? Gears of War 4. I wonder what it's about...

    At the same time, though, pure storytelling is never going to be the thing that games do better than anything.

    Clearly you've never played D&D. I've had gaming sessions that had more plot, depth, and character development than anything you're going to read in a book or see on the big screen. There are a lot of immersive games based on the idea of a lone adventurer, or a party, saving the world. Look at Skyrim for example. Find me a geek that hasn't uttered "... but then I took an arrow to the knee." I doubt they exist.

    If anything, games are moving away from what you're describing. And why wouldn't they? Games are a form of escapism. Who wants to confront their anxieties as a form of relaxation? Nobody. IRS Auditors 2013: Paperworks Of War? Not a best seller. Oh My God, I Might Be Pregnant II: Condoms Of Injustice? The opening scene was great, but after that, the plot went really downhill. Turn Left And Cough? Would probably sell better than the next EA game... but you get the idea.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @01:30AM (#43221033) Journal

    Video games haven't ever just been about fighting and shooting. Sure, Arcade games are mostly, but computer games and home consoles systems have had a wide range of games for over 3 decades.

    For example, Text adventures rarely were about shooting or fighting anything.

    Puzzle games aren't about fighting or shooting shit. And they have been very popular since the dawn of video games.

    I could go on, but I'm catching up on the Jericho TV series, and I figure most of you aren't as stupid as the author.

  • by dywolf (2673597) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @08:37AM (#43222603)

    This quote right here proved the author was dumb beyond belief: "At the same time, though, pure storytelling is never going to be the thing that games do better than anything."

    Similar was said about movies, about TV shows. hell, I'll bet if we go back far enough they even said it about books when storytelling still meant sitting around the fireplace listening to Grandfather.

    Some games tell very weak stories. So do many books and films.
    Some games tell very powerful stories. Also like many books and films.

    The medium itself neither imparts nor removes any special storytelling ability. It never has.

    The ability to tell a story has always been strictly in the hands of the storyteller himself, and his ability to use the medium to effectively communicate the story and impart emotions and perceptions to the listener/viewer.

Uncompensated overtime? Just Say No.

Working...