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Role of Storytelling in Games

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In the world of video games, where colorful worlds pop up on screens, game controllers become tools of our imagination, and stories we can influence unfold, storytelling becomes a really important and magical part. Which brings me to the question -  What do you think is the impact of storytelling in video games, shaping our experiences beyond the screen?

Personally, I don't play games which don't have a storyline which is why I mostly stick to GTA, Watch Dogs, Sleeping Dogs, Max Payne, Yakuza 0 and other games of that sort which have a proper storyline to which I can connect, which keeps me engaged and which brings curiosity in me. If I'm not feeling the character I'm playing, I think it's not worth playing that game. 

Let your thoughts flow on this topic. 

Edited by Debashis
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First off, welcome to VGR.


The short answer is, it's pretty much essential.


The storytelling elements of a video game are no less important than they are in a movie or TV these days. True, video game are more than that with gameplay elements such as tests of reflexes, strategy, teamwork and so on, but a poor storytelling experience can easily nullify all that. I'm temoted to say that because of that active element and direct connection you have through the gameplay, that games may have more potential than a movie or TV show.


Of course there are game with no active storytelling elements like competitive online games, but very often even those have lore, characters and things to learn about the worlds they are set in.


I'm not gonna say a game needs a good story to matter (Although I will say that about single player games), but exploring and discovering new worlds and following, or even role playing, the characters through those works is my favourite thing about games. 

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Any entertainment medium can be used to shape our experiences beyond the screen, but gaming is even more engaging and leaves an acute personal connection. If games are independent of government control as it is now, then story telling allows us to have so much creative freedom and there really are no limits. If gaming was under government control like Russia's new gaming initiative, then it no doubt will be used as propaganda to influence minds for dangerous purposes. Or under religious control, your stories will get even more limited. Great story telling arises from creative freedom and that is what allows our imaginations run wild, intriguing us, exhilarating us, a story and fantasy for everyone from all walks of life instead of seclusion. That is the fundamentals of great story telling. Simply having that creative freedom. 

I recently got done playing Mortal Kombat 10 and 11 which is on the extreme end of story telling in games because it is narrative driven. I really enjoyed it; made me a fan. It helped me appreciate all the many characters, good and villain, and the setting, action, visuals, abilities of each character, lore. If MK wasn't narrative driven and was an open world with little story, would it have had as great an impact? Or better? I don't know!!!!! 😁 Just asking.

I love it when games jump to a cut scene. That is what some open worlds tend to lack. One of the best open worlds I've played that is story driven and plenty of cut scenes is Cyberpunk 2077. I've never played anything quite like it in other open worlds. It's extremely immersive, great story including great side quests. It's blown my mind away. It reaches so much inside our very souls, our emotions...the way they put it all together is a standard that open worlds should try to match. Witcher 3 was another they had some excellent cut scenes and side quests. And would you look at that, both made by CD Projekt RED. I didn't even do that on purpose. GTA 5 was excellent too. That game is unique in itself being able to play as 3 different characters, and really appreciating each one of them, even though they were criminals. But the character development made you like them regardless. How can that be? How can you like a criminal? Well, we all did! 😎 

Then you have The Last of Us series. It was a story that if not done right, would have looked like an ordinary apocalypse. But it was told in a brilliant way, capturing your emotions and drawing out tears if you got any. And that is why the game has had tremendous success. I feel like we may be drifting away from this kind of story telling do to developers putting more effort into trying to make every game have an online multiplayer, when instead they could concentrate on better stories. But that is another topic. That is basically taking your creative freedom for granted. 

How does story telling shape our experiences beyond the screen? I'm not sure. We get emotional and fantasy satisfaction of a great story. We get to engage in critical thought and ethical situations. I remember playing The Walking Dead by Telltale Games and that really had an impact on me. Such a dramatic story, and it made me really look at the depth of character in people and ask myself: what if I was stuck in an apocalypse with this person or that person? What would they be like? Even Detroit Become Human made me question: what if...What if AI became that advanced? Would I discriminate? Would I have a relationship with one? Would I be able to recognize their plea for equality? I mean, critical thinking like that is the same as: do animals have feelings when they go to the slaughterhouse to be tortured for food? Do all animals have a higher consciousness with feelings? Yes, of course they fucking do. But some people don't believe that or simply don't care. So the game Detroit Become Human I believe can enhance people's cognitive ability to develop sympathy. I believe this is important to be reminded of our abilities to sympathize, or else you get actual humans being broken apart and thrown into a heap of metal (or bodies). 









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In today’s gaming world, story lines are more important than anything. In the early days, story lines weren’t a big thing. Games were linear, and completely ended with you turned the system iff. Very few held any kind of progress. Yes, games had a goal. But times have changed. Games are bigger, with infinite possibilities and design capabilities. If there was no story, the game would fail instantly.

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