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Video Games as a Storytelling Medium


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#1 SalemPertaeus

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 03:12 AM

There are approximately three kinds of video games that I would say exist: those that tell stories, and those that are designed purely for gameplay, and games that aim to balance the two. I would say that most video games nowadays try to balance the two, or aim for one extreme.

 

There are games that get storytelling right: Spec Ops: The Line (save for where it flops at the most crucial scene in plot development), Papo & Yo, Mass Effect (save for the hardcore flop in the third installment), The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, To The Moon.

 

There are games that get gameplay right: Supreme Commander, Just Cause 2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, later Call of Duty games.

 

There are games that get both correct. For whatever reason, I cannot seem to think of many good examples right now. Far Cry 3? Wolfenstein: The New Order? Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic?

 

Typically, the games that are remember most are the ones that managed to balance a story with the gameplay and get the player involved. Those tend to be adventure games with player decisions affecting the storyline. Mass Effect tried really hard and succeeded with me pretty well. I never finished the first. I spent fifty-nine hours in Mass Effect 2, twelve in the first installment, and less in the third.

 

Our experience with video games are subjective. Each us will experience games differently than each other. Someone may like Papo & Yo, but I absolutely hated it and left the game several degrees of ticked. Someone may be moved by the game, but the only things I liked about it were the music and art. Nothing else. But that's what stories do. And famous game critics, like IGN, have been noted to mark a game down for having a heavy story.

 

I tried having a discussion with my English professor about Spec Ops: The Line and its tie-in with the classic literature novel Heart of Darkness and the movie Apocalypse Now. But that's hard to discuss. Movies are usually a couple hours, books can be read in a day or two, but video games are like virtual playgrounds. They can take up to several hundred hours to complete fully.

 

Some games like Guild Wars 2 have wonderful story telling mechanics. Guild Wars 2's story telling is remarkable (I'm told).

 

So what, as far as story-telling goes, strikes your fancy? Notable examples?

 

Have any experiences you'd like to share?

 

And if you were to write a game, how would you like to communicate the story?


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#2 Norzman5

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 03:56 AM

I can think of some for the third category: Uncharted series, Last of Us. Batman Arkham series, Portal, Dust, Final Fantasy Crisis Core, Metal Gear Solid, and Cave Story to name just a few for me


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#3 SleepySchizo

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 03:59 AM

My favorite video game series ever is the Kingdom Hearts series, there is a major element of story telling but in some, like KH2, or KH Dream Drop Distance you can roam around and do different mini games and just play. It also factors in two different worlds (Disney and Final Fantasy).

Another great series for story based video games is Sly Cooper.  It gives you goals, and you can always find a new goal, but there are also mini goals throughout the different places in the game, like trying to find and break all of the clues to open random safes, or finding the correct amount of keys to get an upgrade.

I always like video games that lean more toward a story based game, Portal, Halo, etc, because in ones that are majorly free roaming, I tend to get distracted and just walk around and then get bored and stop playing(Skyrim/Oblivion).

Actually before  Skyrim had come out, all I would do in Oblivion(I was quite a bit younger, and not much of a gamer) was decorate that big castle you get in the beginning... And that's it.

Writing a game always has sounded like fun, though I don't know how I would have the story go, I'd like it to have a strong story line, but also allow the player free roam of the map(s) and have smaller goals or achievements that they can work for that are separate from the main story line. So, no matter if they're strictly following the story line, or just running around, they've always got a goal within the game.


 



#4 Norzman5

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 05:02 AM

Kingdom Hearts is great, got the 2.5 HD collectors edition a couple weeks ago


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#5 SleepySchizo

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 05:08 AM

Kingdom Hearts is great, got the 2.5 HD collectors edition a couple weeks ago

That's awesome!!! I've just got the PS2 and Nintendo handhelds, so I've not yet played the Remix's. 



#6 Norzman5

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 05:34 AM

That's awesome!!! I've just got the PS2 and Nintendo handhelds, so I've not yet played the Remix's.

 
I got this
dvjD6.jpg

 
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#7 SleepySchizo

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 05:44 AM

 
I got this
dvjzT.jpg

Oh my gosh, the Heartless plush. 

All of that is sooo amazing!! Is the book, next to the Heartless, artwork?



#8 Norzman5

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 05:47 AM

Oh my gosh, the Heartless plush. 

All of that is sooo amazing!! Is the book, next to the Heartless, artwork?


Yeah it came with an art book

And I recently preordered this lol
 

dvkk5.jpg


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#9 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 06:12 AM

Salem I think you left out a branch of video games though it's a bit off the topic. Minecraft and good are both what I call video games but they are also sandboxes where you can make your own rules or better yet tour own story or mini game.

For balanced story/game play, I'd have to say everything on valves Half-life tree (which includes portal) is a perfect example. Dust an elysian tale is also good if you like a platformer and like Norzman said, cave story is also good. If any of you haven't played cave story, it may be a free download on pc and anything current, albeit barebones in the way of tech specs, should run it. Great diversity on how you play. dust an elysian tail is a great game for Furs and some one started a topic about it here that mentioned Christian symbolism in the game.

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#10 Cody Lucario

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 11:16 AM

I've definitely found games like GTA V, Gun, Hitman: Absolution, Red Dead Redemption, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, and Wolfenstein: The New Order did fantastic jobs of balancing the two. Gun also happens to have an amazing soundtrack, I've got it on my ipod ;)


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#11 SalemPertaeus

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 03:35 PM

Salem I think you left out a branch of video games though it's a bit off the topic. Minecraft and good are both what I call video games but they are also sandboxes where you can make your own rules or better yet tour own story or mini game.

For balanced story/game play, I'd have to say everything on valves Half-life tree (which includes portal) is a perfect example. Dust an elysian tale is also good if you like a platformer and like Norzman said, cave story is also good. If any of you haven't played cave story, it may be a free download on pc and anything current, albeit barebones in the way of tech specs, should run it. Great diversity on how you play. dust an elysian tail is a great game for Furs and some one started a topic about it here that mentioned Christian symbolism in the game.

I left out sandboxes because they're the write-your-own-story game, which leaves out the author standpoint while making a game. It's not very possible to tell a story where there's absolutely none for the player to experience. They'd have to make their own. Hence Minecraft has no campaign nor driving plot. It's devoid of narrative. It does have the capability, as you said, to be turned into a story, if someone makes an Adventure Mode map.

 

Half-Life 2 is definitely a good example, and Dust: An Elysian Tail was DEFINITELY one of the better examples! I love that game. And Dean Dodrill, the sole programmer and artist is a Christian. He even thanked the Almighty God in the credits. Dust's OST is fantastic as well.

Cave Story was something I was told was really good as well. I need to get it some time.

 

 

I've definitely found games like GTA V, Gun, Hitman: Absolution, Red Dead Redemption, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, and Wolfenstein: The New Order did fantastic jobs of balancing the two. Gun also happens to have an amazing soundtrack, I've got it on my ipod ;)

I heard GTA: V was good, but I'm a PC gamer who's also a broke college student so it's not something I'm currently able to get at. I've heard of Gun, Hitman; Absolution, Red Dead series, but haven't played them yet. Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is a Star Wars game I haven't played, strangely. And Wofenstein: The New Order is at the top of my Steam Wishlist.
 

I'll also check out the soundtrack. I'm a sucker for music.


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#12 foxbunny

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 06:06 PM

All stories are a dual act of creation: The author creates the story in the telling and the audience re-creates the story in the consumption. That's why literary analysis is so much fun--it looks at different ways to re-create the same story.

 

Most games are more like movies than books. They try to tell a specific story are less interested in the audience participating in the re-creation aspect than they are having the player be one of the actors. Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Halo, etc. generally have a linear story with the player expected to follow a set path. These games are fun and all, but even games like GTA where you can make choices end up with the ending changed based on a few possibilities.

 

I would really like to see games that push the storytelling into a co-creation between the developer and player. That's not really something that's possible in other media. Fallout gets close with the ability to build new areas, and Warcraft/Starcraft also get close for the same reason. But those stories tend to either lack depth or be more of what has come before.

 

What would a truly co-created video game experience look like? I wonder.


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#13 Direlda

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 09:04 PM

I left out sandboxes because they're the write-your-own-story game, which leaves out the author standpoint while making a game. It's not very possible to tell a story where there's absolutely none for the player to experience. They'd have to make their own. Hence Minecraft has no campaign nor driving plot. It's devoid of narrative. It does have the capability, as you said, to be turned into a story, if someone makes an Adventure Mode map.

 

Have you ever read After Action Reports (AARs) for games like Crusader Kings II or Total War: Shogun 2? Not every AAR writer is good at conveying a story, but there are those who are able to take their actions and everything the AI does and weave it into a story. I would imagine that creating an AAR for Minecraft wouldn't be too much different from creating one from any of Paradox's or Creative Assembly's strategy titles.

 

And the author in a sandbox game would be filled jointly by the player and by the game. For instance, some friends and I have started a new Minecraft server using the Dark Trilogy modpack. And something that happened early on was that two of them got sucked into a the same hungry node multiple times. Their choices and lack of knowledge led them to fall victim to the hungry node over and over again, but had the game not spawned a hungry node near a location we decided was worth building in then they might not have died seven plus times.

 

All stories are a dual act of creation: The author creates the story in the telling and the audience re-creates the story in the consumption. That's why literary analysis is so much fun--it looks at different ways to re-create the same story.

 

Most games are more like movies than books. They try to tell a specific story are less interested in the audience participating in the re-creation aspect than they are having the player be one of the actors. Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Halo, etc. generally have a linear story with the player expected to follow a set path. These games are fun and all, but even games like GTA where you can make choices end up with the ending changed based on a few possibilities.

 

I would really like to see games that push the storytelling into a co-creation between the developer and player. That's not really something that's possible in other media. Fallout gets close with the ability to build new areas, and Warcraft/Starcraft also get close for the same reason. But those stories tend to either lack depth or be more of what has come before.

 

What would a truly co-created video game experience look like? I wonder.

 

Indeed! Reader-response is a valid form of literary criticism because different readers bring to stories different things. My experience of reading The Lord of the Rings will be different from your experience. And my experience of reading it will change over the years.

 

A truly co-created video game experience might look like Minecraft or Crusader Kings II. Because those games give you a framework--give you the setting and the various rules to follow--while leaving you open to chart whatever path within that framework you want. And the games will throw in plot complications such as a creeper surprising you and destroying part of your base or another lord declaring war on you while you are in the midst of a different war.


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#14 SalemPertaeus

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 02:21 AM

I think I find it necessary to say that I started this thread as story-telling not story-writing. In this case, the narrative is already present.


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#15 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 03:19 AM

I by no means intend to instigate argument here, but i would like to make what i think to be a valid point.

I understand what you mean salem, and i originally brought up sandboxes, because you said videogames

could be defined in three tiers, but that excluded a branch, i just meant to say, there could be a fourth tier.

 

however, if we look instead at videogames more on a gradient (i hope that is the correct word :P) comparison,

we can see how minecraft could still apply.

 

on the far end we have games with a concrete hard story, like call of duty, or alan wake, no real decision making, go through the motions.

 

then we have games like cave story, a few decisions here and there, story changes slightly, or bioshock 2 with multiple endings.

 

then we have games like skyrim have a story but all the fine details are completely up to you,

 

and finally we arrive at minecraft which has a shell of a story when playing in survival. first you arrive, then you must survive and andventure and create shelter, as you gather resources and explore you can find a gateway leading to a great dragon and on pc you can even summon another evil known as the wither. there is a story there but it is just highly variable,

 

we go from, no choice, to moderate choice, to frequent choice and finally we arrive at choice dominance.

minecraft would apply opposite the way a "story telling game" such as the first "the walking dead" game would apply, and it was more a story book similar to the goosebumps books where you would flip to other pages dependant upon making a decision of "go up the stairs" versus "flee home like a pansy"

 

getting back to topic however, where would you fine furs place the original pokemon on the list?


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#16 Direlda

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 03:40 AM

Game mechanics can be considered a part of storytelling. Remember that with film things such as close-ups, pans, and camera angles are all part of how the story is conveyed. So when analyzing a film it's not just the plot, characters, and setting you have to pay attention to, it's also the various aspects of the medium that affect how the story is able to be told and how the story is conveyed.

 

In the same way, then, a video game has different aspects from both film and books that tie into how stories can be told in the medium. We should expect that games will be able to do some things not possible in other media in terms of storytelling and also have difficulty or not be able to do other storytelling things.

 

And isn't telling a story in some sense 'writing' that story?


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#17 SalemPertaeus

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 04:43 AM

Let me explain how I define "story-telling" as opposed to "story-writing." There are games where all the story elements (in-game) are predefined narrative bits. The story is not fluid, does not change, and is not up to the player's creativity on a whim to write the plot. If you're telling a story, then suddenly let your audience adjust how or what happens whenever or however they choose, then the story is not in your hands and you're no longer telling it. Typically, stories being told have an objective in mind, either a moral or a point to prove  or just a good story to tell. Games like Spec Ops: The Line are linear, straightforward, and it heavily criticizes the façade of choice and moral dilemmas in videos. In games where choices are limited, you're just choosing between which path of the story to walk down. For example, the choose-your-own-adventure Goosebumps books could be considered analogical to the Mass Effect games where you make decisions. (This analogy is not perfect since those books were severely limited with their scope). Regardless, the decisions you make as a player are always limited. The game has control over the narrative.

 

In other words, the game's giving you the story. It's telling you the story.

 

Where sandbox games come in is outside the game's narrative (to continue from above, if the game has no story-based interaction with the player, then the narrative experience moves from being told to being created. The plot ceases to come from the game and comes from the player, thus sacrificing the game's story-telling ability to allow for the player to tell their own stories. That is different from being told. You'd be telling.). In other words, the game is not communicating a story, but giving you the option to write your own. In that case, the game is not story-telling. In the instances where the game gives the option to create your story, the game is not story-telling, but you are instead.

 

I started this thread with the intention to hear stories of maybe how a game's narrative experience may have moved players.

 

For example: Spec ops: The Line is a game that turns the concepts of heroes, violence for enjoyment, and entertainment on their heads. The way the game addresses the player directly as Captain Martin Walker makes the game incredibly personal and makes you feel the weight of your actions. When the game revealed the conceit at the end (or in the middle if you noticed it), it really screwed with my head. Further research into the game and its development revealed that only morally correct decision at a point in the narrative was to actually stop playing the game. This game placed me in the boots of Captain Martin Walker in his journey into fallen Dubai with his pals to uncover the mystery of the Damned 33rd.

 

The game told me the story of Captain Martin Walker by placing me in his shoes, in his head, making his decisions. The story was experienced. At no point did I alter the narrative, or write it.

 

I would deny that Minecraft has a story. There are objects with names, but there's no 'quest.' There's an illusion that The End is actually the end of the game due to how hard it is to beat, and once you've reached that point, you've likely experienced all the game (it is possible to miss it entirely, or miss most of what the other part of the game has to offer). But nothing drives you there. There is no story handed to the player. You'd write your own in that case.

 

 

The biggest illusion presented by games like Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls series, and games where the scope of the story appears unlimited but isn't, is that they create the feeling of choice. In each of the games just aforementioned, there are hundreds of choices to be made, but all those choices actually do is give you another piece of the story to indulge in. Role-playing/adventure games typically unconsciously present two ways to be played:

 

1: Where players attempt to play the role created for the purpose of the games narrative

and

2: Where players attempt to play the game in the role they created.

 

Example:

1 - Playing as the Dragonborn and doing quests and having an arc of the game's story told to me.

2 - Playing as an archer/craftsman who hunts deer for skin to make armor and sell it. I'm exploring the game's sandbox element, but it's not telling me the story. It's waiting for me to hurry up and continue the game's narrative.

 

Either way, the character is contained within the story, and the total utility of the story, as far as things go, is still a limited experience.

 

 

If we're reciting a story, and we are writing it as we tell it, I would be concerned for the integrity of the original story being communicated. In essence a modified or derivative story (a different one) is told.

 

EDITS: fixed some typos.


Edited by SalemPertaeus, 16 December 2014 - 04:44 AM.

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#18 SleepySchizo

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 05:11 AM

Let me explain how I define "story-telling" as opposed to "story-writing." There are games where all the story elements (in-game) are predefined narrative bits. The story is not fluid, does not change, and is not up to the player's creativity on a whim to write the plot. If you're telling a story, then suddenly let your audience adjust how or what happens whenever or however they choose, then the story is not in your hands and you're no longer telling it. Typically, stories being told have an objective in mind, either a moral or a point to prove  or just a good story to tell. Games like Spec Ops: The Line are linear, straightforward, and it heavily criticizes the façade of choice and moral dilemmas in videos. In games where choices are limited, you're just choosing between which path of the story to walk down. For example, the choose-your-own-adventure Goosebumps books could be considered analogical to the Mass Effect games where you make decisions. (This analogy is not perfect since those books were severely limited with their scope). Regardless, the decisions you make as a player are always limited. The game has control over the narrative.

 

This makes me think of the Fable games, specifically Fable II (because that's the one I've played the most). 

In Fable, it's definitely story based, but it's a 'choose how you get to the ending' sort of game. There's three ways you can really play Fable II, good, evil, and neutral, what unfolds in the story depends on how you play the game, but it all leads you to an end. There is always a goal, always a story line, but you get to choose how you want to go about the adventure.

(Also, [off topic, but still Fable] I always thought it was cool that if you were all good you got a halo, and if you were all evil you got horns.)



#19 Direlda

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 06:36 AM

Let me explain how I define "story-telling" as opposed to "story-writing." There are games where all the story elements (in-game) are predefined narrative bits. The story is not fluid, does not change, and is not up to the player's creativity on a whim to write the plot. If you're telling a story, then suddenly let your audience adjust how or what happens whenever or however they choose, then the story is not in your hands and you're no longer telling it. Typically, stories being told have an objective in mind, either a moral or a point to prove  or just a good story to tell. Games like Spec Ops: The Line are linear, straightforward, and it heavily criticizes the façade of choice and moral dilemmas in videos. In games where choices are limited, you're just choosing between which path of the story to walk down. For example, the choose-your-own-adventure Goosebumps books could be considered analogical to the Mass Effect games where you make decisions. (This analogy is not perfect since those books were severely limited with their scope). Regardless, the decisions you make as a player are always limited. The game has control over the narrative.
 
In other words, the game's giving you the story. It's telling you the story.

 
Ahh, I see! I think Foxbunny and I have a slightly different understanding of the author-reader interaction. For me, at least, that means I view writing as a subset of telling along with speaking, filming, dancing, composing, etc. In other words, writing refers to the act of telling a story in a specific medium, in this case "printed" text.

 

In my view, the audience is an active participant in the telling of a story and what a specific person brings will affect their experience of a story. The story of Peter Pan will be very different for a ten-year-old child and a thirty-year-old parent despite having the same words (or frames if you take a movie version). And so the story will change without changing.

 

To illustrate how easy this can occur, let us consider the word tree. I want you to pause here and picture or think about what sort of tree you see/think of when you hear the word tree.

 

So what sort of tree is it? My guess is that not all of us will come up with the same image/descriptors/etc despite having the same word to work with. And while stories do create larger contexts that explain how we should interpret various words and plot points, they still allow for some variation in interpretation. The context of the reader is just as important as the contexts of the story and of the author.
 

Where sandbox games come in is outside the game's narrative (to continue from above, if the game has no story-based interaction with the player, then the narrative experience moves from being told to being created. The plot ceases to come from the game and comes from the player, thus sacrificing the game's story-telling ability to allow for the player to tell their own stories. That is different from being told. You'd be telling.). In other words, the game is not communicating a story, but giving you the option to write your own. In that case, the game is not story-telling. In the instances where the game gives the option to create your story, the game is not story-telling, but you are instead.

...

I would deny that Minecraft has a story. There are objects with names, but there's no 'quest.' There's an illusion that The End is actually the end of the game due to how hard it is to beat, and once you've reached that point, you've likely experienced all the game (it is possible to miss it entirely, or miss most of what the other part of the game has to offer). But nothing drives you there. There is no story handed to the player. You'd write your own in that case.

 

In my view narrative is more than just plot and dialogue. Furthermore, because the medium of video games is different from that of "printed" works or film there are story-telling techniques that are unique to video games, such as being able to have an AI that reacts to the player. Even in linear games you can find variance in how the AI will react to the players--they might not always open an encounter by using the same ability or you might reach them at a different point in their set patrol route.

 

I suppose I see Minecraft as having a story because I tend to see stories in everything. But in a sense the game is giving you narrative elements--it puts a main character (defaulted to Steve) in a setting (often random, but can be specified) where plot happens (you discover ore in an abandoned mine shaft and then have to fight off a horde of spiders and other nasties pouring out of the dark tunnels). Granted, Minecraft doesn't dictate the story as it is happening, but that doesn't mean there isn't a story, at least in my opinion.
 

If we're reciting a story, and we are writing it as we tell it, I would be concerned for the integrity of the original story being communicated. In essence a modified or derivative story (a different one) is told.

 

In one sense, every reading or watching of a story is a different telling of that story because of the different contexts the audience brings. But in another sense it is the same story if it is conveyed via a more fixed medium, such as print (we'll leave off the digression into the fixity and fluidity of texts and language). Of course, oral storytelling isn't as concerned with having each recitation of a story be exactly the same as long as the core of the story remains the same. And when I orally tell stories about my various adventures I am partially writing those stories as I tell them. Each telling is a little different but can be said to be the same story if the core hasn't changed.
 

I started this thread with the intention to hear stories of maybe how a game's narrative experience may have moved players.

 
I tend to play a lot more strategy games, so my narrative experiences, I suppose, fall somewhat out of your definition. I'll have to think back a bit to Morrowind or the Myst series and share what I remember at some later point.


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#20 SalemPertaeus

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 10:43 AM

I tend to play a lot more strategy games, so my narrative experiences, I suppose, fall somewhat out of your definition. I'll have to think back a bit to Morrowind or the Myst series and share what I remember at some later point.

 

I hear Myst was spectacular. I personally haven't experienced it but I wish to.

 

I tend to consider the reception a bit different from the storytelling experience. There are games, movies, books, even CDs that I might say communicate their stories in unique ways. Since everyone experiences things different, I like to try to separate people's noumenons of stories versus the actual craft itself. That's pretty well near impossible.

 

What I'm still looking for is what mediums are particularly striking. All the Elder Scrolls games have each struck me differently, although the more modern they get the less fun I have with them. Skyrim was a bummer for me, after the first seventy hours. The story of Skyrim, presented by it's near-wasteland countryside, was nearly lost on me. The 'story' aspect of the setting was a major moodkill for what could have had more potential with me. Oblivion, ironically, with the odd graphics and visually scary conversations, did a much better job at immersing me than Skyrim. While the soundtracks from both games have their ups and downs, including Skyrim's OST including some themes of Morrowind, Skyrim's was a bit better. It kept me going for a while, before I turned it off completely, despite being a music nut.

 

The presentation of some legend, or tale, in a story is greatly affected by how well the speaker can give it. I daresay that the writers of the story for Skyrim may have had a much different idea of their wasteland before the design crew took their creative license with it. It might be possible to say that the noumenon of the story may actually, as with most ideas, been damaged by the medium it was told. This is why some games presentations can completely shred the intended experience of the story. To continue running with the idea, the change of combat in Skyrim had hindered the perception of the game due to the lack of overall magic. (That was perhaps the second most 'unpolished' aspect of Skyrim's combat.)

 

But regardless, how we perceive the story doesn't affect the story itself.

 

Makes me wonder where else this talk could go. It would be as if, if we took Direlda's examination of Minecraft and applied it to a hike. Someone goes outside for a walk, comes across some deer, maybe. He continues on, maybe finds a clearing and punches down some trees to make a house (kidding). Instead he pitches a tent.

 

So we, the spectators, may call that a story because I narrated it. But if we were out there ourselves experiencing it, would it be a story then? We were not presented with a plot, but rather be writing it as we go along. I would think that in a video game, that maybe that experience would be limited and random. I might not call that a story but others may.

 

I guess my deliberation is a matter of 'if the story is written' or 'being written.' I'm unable to blend those two while consistently considering it story-telling, especially if it's coming right back to us.


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