Why Video Games Tell the Best Stories
The development of multimedia technologies made video games possible, and they have had a profound effect on how we tell stories. Other methods like books, movies, and performing arts have undergone similar changes due to technology, but no other method has advanced storytelling the way that video games have. Here is a look at why video games tell the best stories.
There are many modes of storytelling, and each one comes with its own method of interacting with consumers and limitations. We interact with every form of storytelling, and the degree of efficacy on the consumer depends on how each one interacts with the story.
Take reading for example. Reading a book is a tactile experience. We hold the book, flip through the pages and use our imagination to create the experience. There is a deeply personal interaction with books, as each reader creates a new interpretation of the story in their minds. However, it is limited to our experiences and understanding of the world. We can only create an experience using things that we are familiar with or can reasonably create in our imaginations. Each method of interacting with a story has this dichotomy of interactivity and limitations.
Changing the Interaction
Video game and story pictured by Codecraft Student, Jagger S.
Video games offer a new way of interacting with stories that is far more immersive than any other method. Video games combine video, audio and other forms of interaction to create one deeply immersive experience. Movies come close to providing the same experience, but video games add two critical layers to the movie model that make the experience unique.
The Ability to Choose
In video games, you can choose how the story progresses. While there are key events that must happen, you have a deeper level of control over how these events occur and what happens in between them. In a Role-Playing Game or RPG as it is commonly called, you are given quests. However, it is up to you how each quest proceeds and to make sure that you have the technical skill as a player and sufficiently developed character to pass these events. Along the way, you continue to make choices that affect your ability to finish the story.
By giving you choice within the game, the story also increases your level of engagement. You are responsible for how things go in the game, and that raises your commitment to making sure that events happen a certain way. That means that you will dig deeper into the details of the story, adding your own influence along the way, to ensure that you get the results that you want.
Redefining the Writing Process
While the immersive media of video games has changed how we interact with stories on a deep level, it also enables writers to create better stories. They are able and expected to write to a higher level of detail within games to include even the most minute details. This makes the overall experience more enjoyable since a deeper level of thought is put into how the story interacts with the consumer. This has led to notable story development moments in video games such as giving players the ability to choose their Pokémon or the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which is considered to be one of the best video games of all time. Video games give writers the freedom to write deeper, more immersive and more engaging storylines.
Storytelling has been around since the beginning of recorded history and continues to evolve over time. Video games are just the latest step in bringing everyone closer to the perfect storytelling experience. Not only do they give writers the freedom to write better stories, but they also make it possible to experience stories in a new way. They make it possible to write new stories that are completely unique.