informa
3 min read
article

Story, art and morality against interaction.

From time to time journalists ask themselves and their interviewed persons about the relation between videogames and the elements that belong to the older media. Lack of mental flexibility and good sense. Let's see why and what we can do about it.

2nd premise: a rhetorical idea is mostly harmful for the object it refers to. Not just because it's the best tool for conservatorism, which stifles rethinking which in turn is the only doorway to progress, but because common persons never form that idea on their own, there's puppeteers who do it for them, they simply obey to what the few decreed.

---- 

In the beginning videogames were sporting competitions, now thanks to pretty looking graphics some have decided videogames are movies + gore(+ Pong, as it was before). This is when journalists think it fit to ask the question: do we need story/art/morality in videogames? Do programmers have the skill to do it, since they're not proper novellists or scriptwriters? Is it even worth it?

It's important(maybe only for me) to notice that all of this works exclusively through old and rigid abstract ideas nobody durst rethink. But a new media always creates brand-new narrative tools because it has unique features. Story writing in cinema is different from radio and other means, writing(and artistic values and so on) is directly influenced by the characteristics of the recipient in which it has to happen.

You can't talk about art and narration for videogames ignoring videogames' unique and most discriminating element which is interactivity... the gameplay. It's inside the gameplay itself that story finds its uniqueness and beauty, and it's in the gameplay's freedom of interaction(choices and problems to be faced) that art finds the strength of genius... like in all those freeware mini-adventures(wish i were the moon and don't look back): the beauty is absolutely not the story itself and the art is not in the imagery, they both are elevated by the beauty of the specific way you interact in the game.

The same is valid for moral themes. A deep gameplay interaction, with mind manipulation, choices, crossroads and consequences, is just about as moral themed as it can hope to get... programmers who put C&C in their games managed to give the audience moral themes without even KNOWING it and caring, so there's no need to ask whether one should insert moral themes or will people like them, it's all about interactivity. The question is rather how people like interactivity and how much of that game makers are WILLING to provide us.

So to resume and make the final point: 

Videogames do NOT need writers, do NOT need artists, do NOT need strained moral themes artfully implemented in a game, we just need GOOD gameplay designers, because the interaction of a gameplay is able to encompass all of these themes, in its embrace.

Latest Jobs

Treyarch

Playa Vista, California
6.20.22
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
6.20.22
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
6.20.22
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
6.20.22
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more