Are video games a good medium for storytelling? Good article discussing video games as narrative over at Gamespot.
I think when it is done really well (a la Final Fantasy, etc.), then video games can perhaps do story telling more effectively than movies or literature because of the way that the player is involved actively rather than passively as with the latter two mediums. However, I recognize I’m very close to, if not crossing, the line of comparing apples and oranges (the article alludes to this). I say this from personal experience, but also the rhetorical theory that audience involvement makes the experience (aural, visual or verbal) more impacting (i.e., inside jokes are funnier than knock-knock jokes). The fact that a player can control the player(s) involved is certainly a strong argument for the potential of video games as a story telling medium.
As for personal experience, I remember getting choked up when Aeris was killed (FF7), laughing hard at Curse of Monkey Island and jumping out of fright upon first encountering the Flood. But I also vividly remember getting choked up when a certain house elf died (HP7), cracking up every time Miracle Max describes a MLT and having my heart pound the first time I read the last couple of chapters of Lord of the Flies.
I think we gravitate to movies and literature more for storytelling because we’ve been doing them longer (literature much longer) and because it does seem to be difficult to tell stories well in video games. But I don’t think the full potential of video games as a storytelling medium has been fulling tapped. ‘Course, how would we know when it was?
What say you?