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Storytelling In Video Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Pros and Cons

Allow Us To Explain

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Video games are fun. Let’s be honest, that’s their primary function, to be entertaining. In the few decades they’ve been in homes, they’ve gone from two bars bouncing a ball to full scale war between tens, hundreds, thousands of players simultaneously. The technological achievements are staggering and, now, expected. But in all that development there’s one aspect that’s been slow to catch up: the story.

Movies, the older, smug cousins to video games, had the reversed growth. Story came first, then the technology. It’s why entertainment critics, teachers and “experts” tend to look down on gaming. It’s all flash and noise. There’s no lasting value to it.

Well, of course, they’re wrong. You know it. I know it. Now, how do we prove it? How do developers prove it? Well, there are several literary aspects to storytelling that are, frankly, boring. Let’s narrow our critical eye to character development and plot development in some of the big-name games that have released recently and see how they measure up.

(D&D manual pic via Jennie Ivins.)

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Batman fangirl and self-proclaimed video game master, Jennifer V is a science fiction and comic book writer. This passion led her to Full Sail University, where she earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing for Entertainment. In 2011, she was published in IDW’s Womanthology as a writer, editor and interviewer. You can find samples of her works, as well as links to her Facebook and Twitter pages here.

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