Are Video Games Better Without Stories? I Doubt It
Updated: Feb 10, 2022
In a piece for "The Atlantic", Ian Bogost asserts that video games are better without stories. I have to disagree.
From The Atlantic: "Video Games Are Better Without Stories"
Ian Bogost poses an interesting question: "Film, television, and literature all tell them better. So why are games still obsessed with narrative?" While I do agree with his argument to some extent, I also think this kind of blanket statement isn't 100% on the mark. As someone whose work includes writing storylines and dialogue for mobile games and apps, I'm admittedly biased. But still: I think a great narrative can bring a lot to a digital game.
As we venture further into the mysterious metaverse and unlock its possibilities, narrative design in the gaming sphere is bound to become even more important. People are increasingly relying on digital technologies to connect with others (I can't discount the significance of the COVID-19 pandemic here). We are increasingly remote working, remote studying, remote socializing... And all of that time behind the screen inevitably leaves us wanting some more warmth and connectivity.
Enter storytelling. Going forward, I think the demand for stories will be even greater. And I can't wait to take part in it. That said, Ian's article is definitely food for thought. I encourage you to take a read and let me know your thoughts in the comments: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/04/video-games-stories/524148/
Thank you for reading my blog! This is a space where I share personal thoughts — an opportunity for self-expression that has nothing to do with my professional writing. None of the thoughts or opinions expressed in this blog should be construed as anything but my own, nor should they be affiliated with any company or person I contract with or write for.
NOW that that's done... I'd love to hear from you about this blog post in the comments!