Video game stories

After playing hours and hours of the video game, Dishonored, I started thinking of the storytelling in this unique and interactive medium. It’s a characteristic both my son and I look for in games, where you play through, following a story.

Imagine the myriad choices a story can go when you’re writing. In gaming, you get to explore those different paths. Some even offer moral choices, which affect the outcome. You can play evil or good characters, and some games change how non-player characters will interact with you.

Some of my favorite games:

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind – This 300+ hour game tells a story of the main character (which you can choose male, female, different races, and appearance as well as magic user, fighter, thief, or other classes), who gets sent to the Dunmer (dark elf) land of Morrowind to fulfill a prophecy. That story alone makes the game worthwhile, but other stories, other quests, also immerse you into an engaging world.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Also developed by the game developers of Morrowind (Bethesda), this extends the game lore into your character being the ‘dragonborn’, where you’re fated to battle against the return of dragons that pester the land (attacking and destroying). Like Morrowind, you have full capability to personalize your character. It also includes tons of sub-quests, or you can just explore.

Fallout 3 – I haven’t played previous Fallout games, but this game tells a story of your life in a bomb shelter, where your father leaves and never returns. Once you come of age, you venture out to find him. This post-apocalyptic world shows an alternative future than what we understand, using the kitschy 40’s style of dress and music.

Dishonored I’ve only recently started playing this game, where the main character, Corvo, serves as a bodyguard to the Empress. He is framed for her murder, and you play through to discover who killed her, and to help her daughter get on the throne. This is a stealth-based game, where you can choose to not kill anyone. But then, you can also go on a rampage and kill everyone.

These games steep you into different worlds, living lives of other people, making choices, solving problems (often with choices to how you accomplish those goals), and offering a unique storytelling venue.

While you find stories in movies and T.V., imagine that you are the character having to do all the actions through the scenes, to make those choices? Would you be good or evil? Brave or cowardly? Video game allow for any of these choices, but with the added bonus of replay.

If only life offered that option…

Are you a gamer? What stories do you enjoy in games? Do they spark ideas for your own stories? Post in comments.

5 thoughts on “Video game stories”

  1. Final Fantasy usually tells some good stories. I’m more into the Fable series lately – each game takes place in different times within the same world, so the stories find a way to weave together.

    My brother keeps telling me to play Fallout. Just gotta get my butt over to the video game store.

    1. And Final Fantasy is a prolific series, too! I haven’t played but I’ve seen a number of videos. I’ve played the Fable series. It was always funny to do the ‘evil’ things but I didn’t like the horns that sprouted on my head, or the flies that flew around me (as opposed to a halo and butterflies of the ‘good’ side)
      The storyline was intriguing, too

  2. I also enjoy a good story with my game, though I haven’t had the time to play a lot of games in more recent years. Two of my favorite video game stories of all time are Final Fantasy III (USA version) and Chrono Trigger. Both have lovable characters, interesting plot-lines, lots of twists and turns…in fact, I love these two stories so much that I have embarked to write them both in novel form. 🙂 It is really quite fun. lol

    1. Wow, that is adventurous of you? Are the storyline extensive? I found with the Morrowind fanfiction provided me with months of writing, and its still not finished. I stuck with my own gameplay and choices.

      1. I haven’t gotten very far into the Chrono Trigger one because I’m still deciding exactly how I want to write it, but the FF3 one is up to 6 chapters so far, some of them fairly long, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. I’ve divided the story into two “books” for the World of Balance half of the game and the World of Ruin half of the game, and I expect the first book to be a good 30 chapters at least. 🙂

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