- Age / Gender:
- 15, Male
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Programmer. Animator. Gamer. Geek.
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Level 8 Programmer
Ranked as Civilian
Originated from my website, www.karmi.biz
In 1900, when the cheap, simple “Brownie” cameras exploded on the market for the price of a dollar, amature and expert traditional artists began to ponder: “Is photography art?”, a question still going on today. Some said it would exterminate the brush and paint. Some said it’s fad, a quick-dying trend. As we all know, photography and traditional art are living side by side, and still survives with the addition of modern CG art.
So we flew to the moon, dropped nuclear bombs and made a huge industrial revolution which increased human lifespan considerably, and yet we cannot predict what will be the weather tomorrow. We didn’t predict the Rock ‘n’ Roll and the smartphone, and I personally believe that we’ve yet to understand the full potential of the video game medium.
Video Games are an amazing medium for storytelling, education and experiences. Unfortunately, the mass media distorted video games to a point of loathsome hate with people who never touched a controller in their lives, calling that game a “Murder Simulator” and saying “This game caused a school shooting”. This is a whole post entierly, but video games are much more than “Shooty shotty bang bang”.
Video games are a step up in storytelling: You don’t read the story nor watch it happen; you are literally experiencing it.
First, the term “video game” makes the medium have childish and playful associations, which, in recent years, they’re clearly aren’t. We’re moved from laser guns to red or white pellets, and now to real life guns with actual sound design, blood, and realism (though I would argue “Military Shooters” aren’t realistic at all). We need to find a better name for the medium, kinda like how comic books needed to change their name to “Graphic Novels” to get the respect they needed, and use more mature themes.
Video games are a step up in storytelling: You don’t read the story nor watch it happen; you are literally experiencing it. Most games use to let you shoot terrorists or view Micheal Bay explosions, but video games are capable of doing things movies and books simply can’t: like letting you choose your own way of attack, use level design to your advantage, and be non-linear, to the point that each playthrough is different.
Spec Ops: The Line is a great example for video game storytelling. Its story revolts around 3 US soldiers in a mission to save survivors of a giant sand-storm in Dubai. At first the game plays out like every generic modern shooter: going behind cover and shooting at enemies you don’t even know who try are, but they’re evil because they shoot at you. The game then takes a step up when it shows you the consequences of your actions of innocent civilians and eventually makes you shoot US soldiers that came with you. The game breaks the forth wall by knowing there’s a player in front of the screen, telling you things like: “How many Americans have you killed today?”, “There is no choice” and makes you do a “horrible thing” which I won’t spoil, but it’s dangerous, horrific, and I felt so guilty afterwards.
It speaks about how “modern shooters” are a far cry from reality, as real soldiers are faced with PTSD after killing innocents or even enemy soldiers, yet video games make it look like a cruel joy with little to no consequence. I recommend every FPS player to try out this game, coming to it as it was a generic shooter. Just do it.
Video game narratives are a significant step in the medium – in any medium – to have stories not only told, but experienced.
Bioshock is also a great example. (SPOILERS!)
You are a man called Jack, and your plane crashed right above an underwater city called Rapture, infested by sudo-zombies. Through the entire game, you are guided by a man calling himself “Atlas”. He states his aim is to “Keep you alive”. The player follows Atlas’ advice without question, as the game is linear, and thus the player must do Atlas’ quests. The plot twist comes when you must kill the head of Rapture, Andrew Ryan.
In his speech, the player discovers he has been mind-controlled to follow orders whenever the phrase “Would you kindly?” is being told, a phrase Atlas has been using throughout. After you kill Ryan and understand the amazing twist, Atlas says: “Would you kindly put the key in the goddamn machine?!”. The player obviously doesn’t want to, but in order for the game to proceed, he must, essentially, as there’s no other choice.
Bioshock and Spec Ops shows us that video game narrative, with a player interacting with it behind a screen, is something interactive and personal that cannot be achieved through a movie, a TV show or a book. Video game narratives are a significant step in the medium – in any medium – to have stories not only told, but experienced.
We need to also think about a better name for the term “video game”…
Recent Game Medals
Total Medals Earned: 719 (From 161 different games.)