Gaming is becoming as much a part of the entertainment industry as movies.
What wil it take to be the primary source of entertainment?
In terms of storytelling, games are begining to mature.
The problem that games have right now, is that they are borrowing movie conventions too often. As a result, there are always going to be comparisons.
What needs to happen, isn't for games to be more like movies, but to evolve into a truly new form of media.
Let me explain. Many games will start with an opening cinematic, followed by an interactive segment, followed by another cinematic to move the story along... Etc. Blah. Blah. Blah....
This is simply a movie, broken up by interaction, but a movie none the less. (I'm looking at you Metal Gear series.)
The evolution begins with games like the Half-Life series. There are no cut-scenes, but there is still the convention of narative. Valve is starting to get it.
Team ICO is able to tell their story with minimal dialogue, and a strong emotional conveyance of seclusion, dread, friendship, and regret. ICO told a powerful platonic love story by simply having the characters hold hands as a mechanic. Shadow of the Colossus made you feel regret for destroying these majestic creatures, and yet you are driven forward to save a girl that you are never told what your relationship to her is.
Games like Flower are getting closer. The story is told through gameplay. Not a word is spoken. Not a face is shown. It is simply petals flying through a landscape. Yet, somehow, I grew an emotional response, and gathered a story. All of this was through gameplay.
This is the future. Using the GAME to tell the story.
The difficult part is this. How do you tell an epic, and compelling story, soley using gameplay, without falling into the old movie, and book conventions of narative?
Heck if I know.
If developers like That Game Company, Valve, and Team ICO are around, maybe we'll find out. Good luck guys.
If you can think of other games that are able to tell a story through gameplay, post them here.
I would like to mention that I have developed a respect for Sony over the years, and admire the risks they have taken in regards to allowing developers to think outside the box, and let them create unique games.
Noby Noby Boy
The Katamari series
Mod nation Racers
Calling All Cars
Linger In Shadows
Well....I played Journey, and it is astounding!
For starters, the game is beautiful. The story is subtle, but completely engaging.
The multiplayer is unlike anything I've experienced. I have never felt so connected to another player online. You feel like you are truly sharing the struggle, and the triumphs together, and the transition from single player to multiplayer is seamless.
Anyone out there that is avoiding the game because they heard it was short, is missing the point entirely.
Go get it! Keep these types of games alive!
Congrats on being selected for week 2 of the LLP PSN Community Blog spotlight! You're post will be featured on the PLayStation Blog tomorrow morning starting at 9am PST. You'll also be recieving $50 in PlayStation Store voucher codes; watch your inbox for those soon!
I dug your post because you framed your great PlayStation experiences with commentary on how you think they can help move storytelling forward. Congrats again, and thanks for contributing this!
To everyone else, look forward to next Friday where we'll reveal the next winner of this community-driven Blog series.