I have already alluded to the idea that interactive and compelling story telling are requisite considerations, when attempting to craft a successful, original and most importantly, entertaining game. I typically digressed my undying appreciation for Uncharted like some infatuated teenager, obsessed with the one girl who just sees you as the weird freckled, geek in the first part. But now I’m going to completely eradicate my former statement, and instead contradict the importance of video game narratives, and the influences they have on the way we play.
Yes stories, especially over the past decade, have progressed to a more mature capacity and now apply greater significance in the way games are structured and conceived. They have the capabilities to create moments of intimate anxiety or joyous satisfaction, but ultimately many gamers would rather spend hours fragging regenerative, computer generated terrorists, whilst their respective partners are predisposed. All the while a 11-year-old brat wails incoherent demands, before your subjected to repetitive abusive profanities, because you failed to heed his implicit warnings! The inconvenient truth is that for many gamers, an imaginative story is inconsequential, when measured against immersive gameplay.
Games sometimes inexplicably benefit from a lack of story, or an absence of any emotive connectivity. Too often we are forced to tolerate poorly envisioned, and often repetitive narratives so derived of originality, pace and relevancy that we are left confused, bored and irritable. Occasionally its better not to examine or even explain a characters motivation. I mean you never inquired about Mario’s often questionable intentions, as he caused a multitude of criminal damage to gravity defying bricks, ate suspicious mushrooms that act as an apparent euphoric hallucinogenic, with profound “enlarging” consequences (no that’s not a euphemism), as he continued his savage rampage, seemingly indifferent to the countless Goombas he’d viciously squashed (Sicko!).
Theres little necessity to elaborate on insignificant procedural, and often predictable origins. It would be like Crash Bandicoot relieving his tortuous adolescents, haunted by the vivid images of his families ironic murder, when an inebriated trucker swerves to avoid them, only for the wooden crates he was carrying to come crashing out, and crushing his entire Bandicoot family. His a Bandicoot that spins around like a sugar powered spindle; trying to exude an air of vulnerability or any expansive explanation of a shorts wearing Bandicoot, hampers the natural flow, and are the reason that stories are unnecessary. You can’t rationalise these situations or humanize the character by formulating some deficient back story. Developers like Naughty Dog are aware that stories are not always necessary requirement. The fundamental fact is that games, no matter how well written, well presented, or scripted, will never be a sufficient reason to prioritize buying…..probably.
Are narratives irrelevant? Or are they a necessary requirement? Let me know what you think.