Every scene must turn...
February 19, 2008 12:46 PM Subscribe
posted by Pastabagel (140 comments total)
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"I'll bet you that video games will never become a significant form of cultural discourse the way that novels and film have. I'll bet you that fifty years from now they'll be just as mature and well-respected as comic books are today," posits game designer Steve Gaynor. Responses and rebuttals
, "most important of all is the structure of the incidents. For Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action, and its end is a mode of action, not a quality. Now character determines men's qualities, but it is by their actions that they are happy or the reverse."
Literature and cinema have attempted to follow these ancient rules of story since their inception, and in the industry's infancy, some games
embraced a form of second person narrative in which the player was acknowledged as the central character
. But as the industry has matured, the focus has shifted to storyless worlds
or tournament games
whose open-endedness was precisely their selling point. (However, see also Portal
(spoiler!)and System Shock 2
Does the interactive medium of video games inhibit the "structuring of incidents" requisite to form a cohesive narrative? Is the open-endedness in games precisely that which prevents their evolution into a culturally relevant artform? Or is the art-form "too new", the application of those time-honored rules to video games still being worked out?