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Date: May 11th, 2009
Article by: TeeJay Rosene (Guest Writer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
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(cont'd)


Now, hundreds of years after Gutenberg created his nifty invention, books are still a vibrant commodity, probably more so now than ever. However, there are now a myriad of other ways in which to transfer stories to people, and this includes the emergent medium of video games—I say emergent because I think the notions of “story” and “art” within the medium are now being considered in a serious way. It's exciting as a fan of the video game genre to wonder where the technology is headed, and it's even more exciting to think of the possibilities for communication, interaction, and artistic expression that have yet to be dreamed. The medium has already proven itself to be a great way for people to connect in a variety of ways ( Rock Band, World of Warcraft et al.). To me, it seems like a pretty interesting story is already unfolding, a story that inspires the question, Where shall we go next?


Although I don't think the depth of artistic possibility has actually been explored to its fullest potential, I do think there is an emerging awareness of video games as a form of artistic expression, for the developer but also, more importantly, the player (collaborator?).


The most successful franchises to date have been carried over an amazing array of platforms with varying degrees of technical limitation to deliver great stories in which the player wants to become immersed; such franchises that easily come to mind include Silent Hill, Zelda, Super Mario, Final Fantasy, Diablo, and World of Warcraft. I'm sure there are more titles that others find just as engrossing, and I haven't even touched movie tie-ins, but rhyming off titles is not really the point anyway. The point is that there are titles in which people readily want to become a member, even a character, in the unfolding plot, the unfolding story.



When thinking about video games as a “genre”, and other new media as well, it is important to remember that every art form to date—from the novel, painting, film, and comic books—have initially been devalued, debased, and ultimately considered non-art, even trash, upon inception. If there is something of value to be gained, however, these past mediums became secondary to the story when a true work of art appeared. Ideally, for a great video game to succeed at every level, the story will trump graphics—as story always seems to trump special effects, glossy images, or fancy CGI.


The point of this article is point out that as technology becomes more advanced, the story telling will also need to take on an even more important role. Technology is now at a point where story telling should be able to transcend the technology on which it is being narrated—ultimately to inspire imagination.


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