Armchair Empire - Storytelling in Games
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February 27th, 2007, 18:28
Yes, you can argue that a game without a story is like a book without text, but a game isn't a book really is it? Card games, chess, board games, and their modern day successors, video games imply not the idea of narrative, but the concept of competition. You pit your wits against an adversary, not function as an audience.
An rpg, of course, does imply that you have characters doing something for a reason. How much or how little scripted story varies from game to game. I am not fond of sandbox rpgs either, but I think it's hard to play an rpg without your own imagination fleshing out the bones of the written elements.
Yes, arguing that "freedom' is better than a good tight storyline in an rpg is facile and a bit of a cop-out. But don't downgrade the power of your own mind to enhance even a good book or film--is it only the story in these cases, or the talent of the artist that involves you and gives the experience of immediacy and realism?
Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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