The Achilles’s Heel of gaming, at least from the perspective of a serious contender as an artistic medium, has always been the lack of decent storytelling. While there are a few great examples here and there that highlight exactly what video games can accomplish if they have ample development time and a strong writer in the design team, gaming has sort of let this facet slip away.
In a recent article on The Escapist, Jonathan Davis digs a little deeper into this issue and points out a few games that have successful narrative structures, mostly through their adherence to Joseph Campbell’s concept of the “monomyth”, or Christopher Vogler’s famous “The Hero’s Journey”. Mr. Davis makes a strong argument that the reason games lack narrative punch is because most gaming protagonists don’t have an internal conflict that needs to be resolved, cutting out the all important step of “Resurrection” where the hero overcomes their personal demons and solves the external conflict.
Since most of the characters we control only confront external obstacles, there’s very little room for development, leaving even the coolest action scenes feeling hollow and uninvolved. Games like Ocarina of Time, BioShock and Braid are all singled out for having stories that actually matter to the player, mostly because they have a satisfying resolution to the hero’s issues.
The whole article is really well thought out and examines video games through the lens of a very tried and true structure that most developers ignore. While we’ve taken a look at the issues games face from a similar standpoint, this gives us a new way of thinking about things. If only game designers would consider this in the future, then we might get some titles with a better focus on what matters story wise. What do you guys think about this? What games do you enjoy that follow “The Hero’s Journey” and are stronger because of it? Go!
Source – The Escapist, Link picture by Justin Cherry
With all the new games coming out every year, it becomes tricky to negotiate which games you should/shouldn’t buy. Already this Fall, I’ve bought a game I didn’t expect to (Halo: ODST) and I’ve been tempted by two other titles I didn’t have any plans on buying (Forza 3 and Borderlands). However, there is inevitably the game that everyone else seems to love, but you don’t necessarily drink the kool-aid for the way others do.
For me, that might be Left 4 Dead 2 this year. In previous years, games like Bioshock and any of the Devil May Cry games have failed to catch my fancy. Same thing with Mario Galaxies. Also, and this one might get me yelled at- Ocarina of Time. Though others loved them, I just never caught the fever. What about you guys? What recent great games do you not drink the Kool-Aid for like everyone else does? Flame on!
We all love lists. You know it’s true. It’s so fun to look at something that’s ordinarily so difficult to measure and to break it down in to easy to understand numbers. And then after we’re done, we can bitch about whether or not the list was right, in our oh so humble opinions.
Anywho, Edge has put up a list of 100 Best Games to Play Today, and it’s a pretty epic order. It’s not exactly a “best games of all time” list. But rather, if you had access to every game ever made, these are the 100 that you should play right away, classic or not. Definitely an interesting take.
While I don’t know that I’d put Ocarina of Time at the top, I have to say that I love that Mario 64 came in second, as that would probably be my number 1 or close to it as well. Also, their description of Counter-Strike is absolutely perfection.
What did you guys think of the list? What would be the first games you would play with access to every game ever made?
Source- Edge Online
We all have secrets. There are whole websites devoted to people just telling their secrets and Conan O’Brien has a segment where celebrities can reveal their darkest truths. In this post, Anthony has uncovered some of the most iconic video game character confessions you have never heard!
Continue reading Video Game Characters Secret Confessions!