On Story, Plot, and Narrative in Games

On Story, Plot, and Narrative in Games

Introduction

Video games have recently hit the mainstream and the reasons for this are varied and complex, especially when analyzing the casual market. However, two key factors seem to be largely responsible for this new trend in the AAA-space: Narrativism and Production Values.

Thinking back, video games did not hit the mainstream before a certain threshold of production value was reached, one that approached movie production quality. Today, games often proudly brand themselves “cinematic” and “story driven” with budgets close to many blockbuster Hollywood movies. Interestingly, the short era of Full Motion Video (FMV) games in the late 90s did not attract a fraction of today’s audience where Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare can easily compete with Hollywood’s best.

This disconnect is interesting as FMV games often incorporated heavily story-driven elements and were the closest to cinematic experiences a game could get without becoming an interactive movie. Wing Commander IV for example incorporated interactive cutscenes, dialogue-choices, outcomes and endings long before even a single line of Mass Effect’s script was written, and it featured an all-star cast including Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Malcolm McDowell (everything ever) and John Rhys-Davies (Gimli, Sliders).

WingCommander4

Oh you!

Plot vs Story vs Narrative (vs Monsters vs Aliens)

While plot, story and narrative are often used interchangeably in casual conversations, in analytical terms they are separate entities and describe specific aspects of storytelling. If we want to talk about storytelling in games, we must differentiate between them to accurately describe concepts and ideas that the medium tries to express.

Story

In the most basic terms, a story is a narrated (this takes many shapes, more on that later) sequence of events. A story can only exist post-hoc, after the events have happened. This also means that fictitious or future events must have happened in relation to the point of where the story gets told. If we read/watch a story about the starship Enterprise and captain Kirk, the events must have already happened (in the writers head) for the story to exist. If we imagine a future scenario where we can write stories about the future because we have discovered time-travel, the story would only be told after someone experienced these future events, i.e. for the storyteller they are past events.

Story is exclusively post-hoc

Story is exclusively post-hoc

Examples:

I woke up, slipped on a banana and broke my leg.

Wake up -> slip on banana -> break leg.

This is the sequence of events, the story. If we rearrange the sequence, or otherwise change the events, we get a different story:

Wake up -> break leg -> slip on banana

I woke up, broke my leg and slipped on a banana.

As you can see, a different order of events gives us a completely different story; in one sequence, I break my leg after I slip on the banana, and in the other I break my leg before I slip on the banana. This works exactly the same in the visual space. Sequences of events are, for example, represented by panels in comics.

narrative_vidya_text_1narrative_vidya_text_2

Plot

The plot of a story is concerned with how and why the events are tied together. It is the reason between events happening.

Example:

I woke up early this morning and sleepily sauntered towards the wardrobe. I slipped on the banana that fell out of the fruit basket the day before and broke my leg hitting the floor.

The sequence of events is still the same as before but now we have filled the blanks in-between the events to provide reasons and connections. The story is unchanged, however the story now has a plot. The plot-points of this story are that I:

a. slipped on a banana because I woke up early and was careless (in contrast to being careful and alert)

b. slipped on a banana that has fallen out of the fruit basket (in contrast to being placed there intentionally)

c. broke my leg as a direct consequence of slipping on the banana (which was not clear before)

Plot cannot exist without a story; it needs a sequence of events as anchor-points. However, story can still exist without a plot. It will be dry and uninteresting, a completely linear recounting of events, but it nevertheless will be a story.

Often when critics say that a story doesn’t make any sense, they actually mean that the plot makes no sense. A story doesn’t necessarily need to make sense, as its just an account of events that happened at one time or another before its telling. Plot however has to explain the connections between these events and is open to critique on the grounds of coherence.

Narrative

Here it gets a bit tricky.

Narrative is the way in which we combine story and plot and present it to the recipient, the audience. However, narrative does not equal either part; it is not necessarily neither plot nor story. An example of this is Narrative Art; it tells a story, however the story is one that is constructed by the observer, the audience. Narrative can exist without story, because it is a way story is formed.

Furthermore, narrative can have many forms, even a non-linear one. It is entirely flexible because narrative does not rely on plot and story to exist. It can rely on the context or internal perception filters of the audience.

diagram_nonlinear

Even non-linear narrative tells a sequential story that is post-hoc.

The difference here is that as mentioned before stories are a sequence of events and told over a period of time (diachronic), while a piece of art like The Last Supper is but one event frozen in time (synchronic). The story in The Last Supper is only recognizable if the audience has access to the context of the piece. The painting in itself does not contain a story; there is no sequence of events, however it contains a narrative that in combination with context can evoke a story in the observer. We call this idiosyncratic narrative action.

Story, Plot and Narrative in Games

When talking about story in video games, many critics seem to use plot, narrative and story interchangeably. The most often parroted and highlighted idea in the media’s current Narrativist mindset is the illusion of “writing your own story” by having agency.

However, we have to distinguish the illusion of agency within a story and actually writing a story. Stories in games are pre-defined, already selected sequences of events that do not change, and even if they can be changed it is an illusion. We only select another set of events, we do not actually change them. Writing your own story is an illusion created by the agency that games provide.

Let’s assume a game in which by selecting binary options the story is “changed”. The following diagram illustrates how these branches aren’t really changing the story but rather act as selectors for content, or different pre-made stories.

"Branching stories" are in effect multiple stories that partially overlap.

“Branching stories” are in effect multiple stories that partially overlap.

This is of course a simple example and complex games like Mass Effect can have many more decision points. However, all these complexities can be unraveled in the same way. As an example, the picture below shows the entirety of all decision points in A Duck Has An Adventure, which boasts 16 endings.

duckdiagram

As you can see, it’s not 16 endings to one and the same story, it is in fact 16 distinct stories, including a time-loop, not dissimilar to choose-your-own-adventure books.

What about other games? What if the amount of complex decisions approaches infinity? Couldn’t it be said that players in highly complex games like Super Street Fighter IV truly and really write their own stories? After all, they do not select between a set amount of stories via dialogue choices or other well known video game story-mechanics. Their decisions are directly influencing the game and no match is going to be exactly the same and hence it is a unique story.

Hardly.

As I elaborated before, stories can only be told post-hoc after events have happened. “Writing history” is a poetic expression; it is in no way accurate to say that a chess-player is writing his own story, nor that the soldiers in the Second World War wrote history. Events that are happening in gameplay are not a story, because stories are told after events have occurred, otherwise all events are “a story”. Similarly, Daigo did not write a story when he was playing against Justin Wong. It was a historic match no doubt, stories about it exist and videos have been made, but the players themselves did not “write their own story”. Daigo and Justin Wong were no more writing a story than Isner and Mahut at Wimbledon were (Beyond a poetic expression to show our respect to their display of skill of course.)

What about acting out roles in tabletop role-playing games or role-playing in MMORPGs? Aren’t we choosing the characteristics and behavior of our avatars? Aren’t we then acting out and writing a story?

Yes, in a limited sense. Play-acting exists and roleplay can lead to the collaborative storytelling possible in tabletop or other freeform games/simulations. In a sense it is comparable to LARP (Live Action Role Play), or more accurately, improvisational acting. However, these actions are never and can never be tied into gameplay as the structure of overcoming challenges is inherently counter to the idea of writing a story. Gameplay and game mechanics are never concerned about the story, because their function isn’t storytelling. They are only interested in testing the player to overcome an obstacle. Play-acting around an obstacle without the use of game rules for the benefit of plot is commonly known as god-modding in the tabletop roleplay community.

Hence we invent terms like “Ludonarrative Dissonance” to illustrate the disconnect between gameplay and story.

From my analysis so far, it might seem that interactive storytelling in games has insurmountable hurdles to take and just can’t be reconciled with gameplay, which is partly true. The current obsession with cinematic and story-focused games has unfortunately thrust us in entirely the wrong direction. Our over-reliance on the traditional diachronic view of the medium has created a situation in which stories are either traditionally linear with agency being a secondary concern, closer to film, or creating a veiled illusion of agency within a story that is in reality no agency at all, no matter how many paragon interrupts can be crammed into it. The current mindset of the Narrativist is missing the point.

Ironically the Narrativist has the point in his name: Narrative.

Narrative is not bound by story and hence can be entirely flexible and be adapted to gameplay. Instead of treating storytelling in games as we do today, seeking inspiration from books and cinema, games must be looked at similarly to Narrative Art. Ultimately, in any story the audience is interested in the plot. He or she wants to know why events are happening. Narrative can give games a way to create a story from context, specifically through gameplay, without actually requiring a pre-made story to be present.

A game could be treated like a painting, not necessarily in the way of synchronicity or the literal interpretation of games like Dear Esther in environmental storytelling, but in the way the entirety of it existing without a pre-made sequence of events that constitute a story. Instead of engaging the player through the illusion of agency in it, it might rather do so through discovery of (gameplay) context. A skillful craft of game-mechanics would be akin to crafting a narrative and the player would experience the story after understanding the context of his agency.

The video games industry is struggling with the cinematic and “story-driven” approach because the medium is just uniquely unsuited for traditional storytelling in which pre-planned events and authorial intent collide with the agency of the player. “Ludonarrative Dissonance” will never go away. Even if you craft the most coherent story of all time, players will invalidate it the second they pick up the controller.

Not only that but we have now, with regularity, started to make excuses for games that mesh these concepts wrongly and its pushing us further and further away from embracing the strength of the medium instead of rethinking our options. “It’s an action game, what did you expect?!” isn’t a good enough excuse if your emotionally wracked heroine turns mass-murderer in the first third of your game just because the designer and writer failed at the “impossible job” of tying gameplay and story together.

The fact we have to invent excuses and engage in apologetics proves that this approach isn’t working. We are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.



  1. Anonymous says:

    I think there are good ways to do traditional storytelling in games without ludonarrative dissonance being a problem, and some certainly have.

    Its just particularly heinous when a game professes to be something its not, ie, in the case of mass effect. Otherwise great read, refreshing to see someone take the topic so seriously.

  2. Nolen Murphy says:

    “If we read/watch a story about the starship Enterprise and captain Kirk, the events must have already happened (in the writers head) for the story to exist. If we imagine a future scenario where we can write stories about the future because we have discovered time-travel, the story would only be told after someone experienced these future events, i.e. for the storyteller they are past events.”

    I’m going to have to disagree with this. I don’t really think of the writer’s thought process as when the story took place. Sure, the writer had to have constructed the story before the audience experienced it, but that doesn’t make the events themselves occur in the past. This is subjective, but the tense in which the story is told should dictate when the events take place; not when the writer conceived the story. The reason for this is because, for an audience who is experiencing the story first hand, the events are being unraveled in the tense in which the story is being told to them. Applied to video games, a player is experiencing the events of the game in the present tense. Or at least the gameplay. Let’s say that I’m playing The Legend of Zelda for the first time. I can’t say “Link defeated Ganon” if it’s relative to the fact that I’m only at the third dungeon or so. The event hasn’t happened for me yet. However, I would be able to say that if I had completed the game(s).

    But none of what I just said really matters, because it’s fallacious to even refer to the events of any narrative in a specific tense. For any story conceived in a writer’s head, referring to any events as happened, happing, will happen, etc. imply that they actually have happened, are happening, will happen, etc. The problem is that the events are fictional and no one can attach a point in time to them because they don’t exist. You speak as if the events happened when the writer wrote the story. That’s fallacious because they didn’t actually happen. I speak as if they happened relative to when the audience experiences the story. That’s fallacious because the story is really just happening in the audience’s head. It’s just an interpretation of ink on a page or pictures rapidly changing on a TV screen. The best we can do is say that event A happened at a certain point in the game, but it’s still difficult to apply a tense to that because the story is happening at different points relative to where each player is in the game.

    Overall though, great article! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and the points were very well constructed.

    • blackfrican says:

      >the writer had to have constructed the story before the audience experienced it, but that doesn’t make the events themselves occur in the past.

      They do from the perspective of the storyteller

  3. Kurodius says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but are you saying that the greatest potential in games is for the player to create his or her own story without going through any pre-determined events, thereby forging his or her own narrative?

    By that logic, wouldn’t that make Minecraft the greatest example of narrative potential for the medium? The world is procedurally generated and the player is given free reign over the world given to them.

    The way I see it, the strength in games isn’t necessarily the agency of the player.

    Games offer a level of immersion into a world, story, and characters better than any other medium. When watching a show or reading a book, when a challenge is presented to a character (let’s say, giant monster), the viewer/reader can predict that the hero will defeat it and move on. In a game, the player is the one who must face the challenge. The challenge will not simply go away, and the player needs to take action in order for the protagonist to succeed.

    Gameplay can also serve as a reinforcement to the narrative. Bioshock Infinite is the antithesis of this, as the gameplay serves against the story. If the shooting sections of the game are taken into account, Booker is a mass murderer who has committed atrocities against Columbia’s people. The plot of the game doesn’t seem to care that you just used a rotary saw to cleave through about 20 people and are most likely coated in their gore. The plot also doesn’t care about the vigors that can turn a normal person into a killing machine. Gameplay should work with the plot to form the narrative, but in many games the plot and gameplay have a reinforced steel wall built between them.

    At least, that’s how I see it. Again, correct me if I seem to have gotten the wrong impression from this editorial.

    • “Correct me if I’m wrong, but are you saying that the greatest potential in games is for the player to create his or her own story without going through any pre-determined events, thereby forging his or her own narrative?

      By that logic, wouldn’t that make Minecraft the greatest example of narrative potential for the medium? The world is procedurally generated and the player is given free reign over the world given to them.”

      No thats exactly the opposite of what I’m saying as indicated by the line about synchronicity and environmental storytelling. Minecraft is not designed as Narrative Art especially since its procedurally generated it features no narrative. In comparison The Last Supper is designed to convey a narrative through its context to the bible without featuring a sequence of events itself. Similarly a game can be designed to convey narrative through gameplay that creates context, this hypothetical game can be entirely abstract, it does not need to feature simulation or realistic graphics, it doesn’t need to use visual symbolism or a sad violin.

      I understand this is a very esoteric concept because it has never been tried but its a concept worth exploring.

      “Games offer a level of immersion into a world, story, and characters better than any other medium.”

      Immersion is not necessarily a benefit to storytelling and the simulationist approach is a very limited vision. It pre-supposes that we only talk about traditional stories that feature no abstraction, tolkienesque constructs of orcs vs elves, or mans with lasers, while the breadth of storytelling is far greater than the conditioned preception of the general public and hollywood blockbusters. A simulationist approach for example adds nothing to suprematism.

      • Kurodius says:

        I am not understanding this at all. You keep returning the The Last Supper, saying “The Last Supper is designed to convey a narrative through its context to the bible without featuring a sequence of events itself.” Yet The Last Supper does actually feature an event, the event within the bible when Jesus sits down with the apostles for the last time to tell them that one of them shall betray him.

        In response yo your point about immersion:

        Perhaps immersion is not the best word to use in this context, perhaps investment may be a better word. I did not intent to imply that a game’s ability to provide a simulation of something real is a strength for the medium. What I intended was to say that the player’s interaction with the game makes a connection between the work and the one experiencing it, which is something movies, books, and paintings are unable to replicate.

        I guess I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around what you believe the greatest potential games have as an art form. I will say that your explanation of narrative, plot, and story has enlightened me and will effect how I use each of the terms from this point forwards, so I can thank you for that at least.

        • “I am not understanding this at all. You keep returning the The Last Supper, saying “The Last Supper is designed to convey a narrative through its context to the bible without featuring a sequence of events itself.” Yet The Last Supper does actually feature an event, the event within the bible when Jesus sits down with the apostles for the last time to tell them that one of them shall betray him.”

          An event. Not a sequence of events. There is no story since there is no sequence.

          If you never read the bible, The Last Supper depicts a bunch of dudes sitting at a table eating.
          You have no context to understand who Jesus is and why this is important, who Judas is and why he will betray Jesus. Similarly you won’t understand why Judas tips the salt shaker if you don’t have the context for it, nor why he is holding a pouch.

          If an alien looked at The Last Supper it would not see anything beyond a dinner scene and could possibly deduce a few expressions or mannerisms, but it wouldn’t arrive at the story of the last supper, nor the bible, nor Jesus as the son of god.

          You, as the audience, have the necessary context to interpret the depicted scene and create a story. The narrative is independent from the story in this case as there is no story in the painting itself but in your head, the narrative makes it possible for you to construct that story.

  4. JicePipe says:

    what is the lolita of video game?

  5. blackfrican says:

    I like this article, it’s informative and covers a rarely discussed subject.

    Would you be interested in having it narrated?

  6. Homer Ruglia Beoulve says:

    Will it be alright if I make a video out this article? I’m a Youtube amateur vlogger with little audience and this topic needs to be tackled. I hope Mr. Alex don’t mind that.

  7. Spokker says:

    I don’t believe that story is necessary for a video game. This belief comes from some of the theory behind old school Disneyland attractions. Here’s a good article about it. I doubt anyone will read it, but think about similar ideas if they were applied to video games. I think that the comparison is apt because both are somewhat interactive. You choose where to look.

    http://imagineerebirth.blogspot.com/2006/11/myth-of-story.html

    “Think about some of the classic Disneyland attractions–Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn Bobsleds and “it’s a small world.” How would they fare against the story litmus test? Do they have a beginning, middle and end? A clear antagonist or protagonist? Would they be better if they had a clearly defined inciting incident, conflict and resolution? Without these things an attraction has no story, and therefore is no good–according to the current dogma.

    Spending time and money obsessing over how to communicate story details at the expense of creating a unique immersive experience may seem blatantly foolish, but that’s what comes from close adherence to an unquestionable dogma. Like any dogma, it exists to serve the ruling faction. If you consider the fact that a handful of “creative executives” at Imagineering have built their careers on the myth of story, it becomes apparent that the true audience for these carefully-crafted stories are not the millions of paying guests who visit Disney theme parks every year, but the executives who constantly ask, “What’s the story?”

    Marc Davis’ quote at the top of the page (from “What Can You Learn From Disney’s Work,” Sales Meeting Magazine, July 1969) speaks of a series of experiences building to a climax–these are the trappings of story, as are setting, character, dialogue, action and reaction. Disney attractions have story elements, but they are not literal stories (it may seem like splitting hairs, but this is an important distinction).”

    A lot of video game stories are just excuses to get you from Point A to Point B and advance the gameplay. I say it’s okay to strip most of it out and simply focus on the experience. The atmosphere. The music. The gameplay. And so on.

    This doesn’t mean that games like Last of Us where plot is as important as everything else (and sometimes overshadows gameplay like a lot of these narrative roller coaster games) shouldn’t exist, but it’s okay to make a game that doesn’t need to be explained and just *is*.

    • Spokker says:

      Rayman Origins and Legends is a good example of this, I think. If you stripped out what little story there is, I don’t think it would matter at all when it comes to the quality of the final product.

      Think of the Haunted Mansion or the old Pirates of the Caribbean if you’ve ever experienced it. Nothing actually happens when you experience those rides’ “stories.” There is no three-act structure. There are no antagonists or protagonists. The Haunted Mansion is just a place. It’s a house. There are ghosts. They don’t have any conflicts to resolve. Nobody goes missing. Nothing needs to be fixed.

      Similarly, Rayman doesn’t need a three-act structure. Rayman doesn’t need to save anyone or anything for the gameplay or the music or the art to make any sense. Like Haunted Mansion is a peak into a residence where ghosts live, Rayman is simply a peak into Rayman’s world, and he does whatever Rayman does.

      Now if Rayman or Haunted Mansion were movies (they tried with the former and it sucked), there would need to be a narrative, a story and a plot. But video games and theme park attractions don’t need any of it.

    • “I don’t believe that story is necessary for a video game.”

      I wasn’t suggesting it was.

  8. Benjamin Zabala says:

    “The video games industry is struggling with the cinematic and “story-driven” approach because the medium is just uniquely unsuited for traditional storytelling in which pre-planned events and authorial intent collide with the agency of the player. “Ludonarrative Dissonance” will never go away. Even if you craft the most coherent story of all time, players will invalidate it the second they pick up the controller.

    Not only that but we have now, with regularity, started to make excuses for games that mesh these concepts wrongly and its pushing us further and further away from embracing the strength of the medium instead of rethinking our options. “It’s an action game, what did you expect?!” isn’t a good enough excuse if your emotionally wracked heroine turns mass-murderer in the first third of your game just because the designer and writer failed at the “impossible job” of tying gameplay and story together.

    The fact we have to invent excuses and engage in apologetics proves that this approach isn’t working. We are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.”

    I have to disagree with this. First off, video games are called that for a reason and it’s that the controller is the inferface that we use to interact and have fun, just like in baseball our means of UI is a baseball and a glove, or in boxing we also use gloves as our interface. Even though those two games are sports, they’re still just that: games. To say a controller invalidates a creator’s work is like saying those two sports’ equipment invalidates the immersion required to feel the essence of the sport by not requiring the players and boxers to use their full energy or endurance and instead let the equipment fill in whatever gap their is to reach the goal of interaction with the experience. It is with ludonarrative dissonance and the controller that the player is engrossed in the story because the creator is letting the player know how significant they are to the coherency of the story by letting them interact using the controller and this literary device in order to approach the story from all angles and grasp the creator’s perspective while gaining your own perspective at the same time. Without these tools, games would have no means of storytelling at all, as they would leave no interaction. Even movies require interaction, with that being watching them, as interaction literally means giving your attention to another object or thing in your environment, so even if someone had the chance to watch a video game, those two devices would still be required to comprehend the essence of the experience and highlight the atmosphere that the creator has encompassed you in. Whether nonlinear or linear, it is with the controller and ludonarrative dissonance that we step into the shoes of the characters and have a place in the story as the observer and the participant because we are not only learning as we watch but also drive the story forward, or else if we weren’t to complete the story or at least gain an understanding of its purpose without doing so, the story has defeated its own purpose altogether and left video games meaningless in that respect; but in reality obviously video games have meaning that they’ve been around this long and won’t be gone anytime soon. Second, the problem isn’t that there are only certain genres or mechanics that can fit together, but that some of them haven’t just been put together in the right sequence or combination yet to accomplish the goal of connecting the player and the game creator through the story. It is the lack of innovation, not the lack of creativity, that has driven the industry downward in the past few years but now developers are having a resurgence and creating games that give the player full control without sacrificing the core of the experience. The industry not striving for a peg in a hole, they are searching for a path to the finish line; a shortcut and that is why gaming has fallen at this point but it is rising now. they weren’t taking enough risks to justify the means which is why plenty of devs this past gen shut down. I see this gen bringing about more devs than there ever were before to compensate that and bring gaming back in the spotlight again. And lastly, I strongly disagree that story isn’t necessary for games, as without story, or any sense of progression throughout the game, it’s not a game at all. It is through this journey of the ups and downs that we have an experience, the very heart of what games are. It is with this that games have drawn in many people and when people say it felt more akin to an experience than a game that means the player not only had fun interacting with the world, but they were able to connect to the game and create memories, which is also the purpose of games. And through these memories, the final purpose if for one to find themselves and reflect back on the experience to walk away and apply it to how they see everyday life and live on their days of humanity to make the most of it. That is the heart of gaming, and disproves that portion and other knots related to it that were mentioned such as the immersion and storytelling taking a backseat because video games are too far fetched for its audience to understand its complexity. so based on what you said, Beyond: Two Souls literally failed if you to apply this article to it because it uses a controller, uses diachronic events, sometimes synchronic, the ludonarrative dissonance exists and puts emphasis on story only to draw the player out of the experience since it’s not what you’re feeling. Well that’s the key: players are not only supposed to see what’s happening but also feel it inside. If the player sees the excitement but doesn’t feel the enthusiasm to move forward or take interest in the universe or the protagonist or antagonist or themes or ideas of the game, then the game creator has failed and not the player because it is the creator’s job to put the player in their shoes so that they understand what’s happening and aren’t just sitting for a popcorn flick or so. Otherwise, I agree with your distinction of plot, story, and narrative and whether or not the game is portraying events as past, present, or future doesn’t matter as the player is meant to live the experience through the interaction and through that the player creates a story, an experience, that they can look back on; it is not through creating your character or world and making choices that immerse the player, it is the emotions that the game evokes to the player that makes it their own experience because they have specific feelings and thoughts to associate and synchronize with that experience, which is why David Cage himself focuses on emotions in his games so even though people play the same game-Beyond: Two Souls- and still make different choices, everyone will remember it entirely differently because everyone has different emotions and perspectives on the events in the game. And The Last Supper, that can be applied with what I’ve explained as in order for there to be a story, events have to have already occurred. It is a narrative only for those who may not know what it is associated with or its significance, it is a story for those who may not understand the full context but are interested in the different facets of it, and it is a plot for those who know everything about it and can apply their knowledge to fully grasp the depiction of The Last Supper. It’s not just about feelings and the experience but also the perspective, the ideas, that we get that affect our cognitive outline of a game or picture and what it may represent to us as the observers and/or participants; which is why different types of games leave a different effect on each person every time. It is through video games, peoples minds are set free; hence the game creators and the game players that bring the creators’ imaginations and the players’ experiences to life. Thank you for listening.

  9. Cameo says:

    maybe the comment section should have a character limit.
    It is getting pretty clustered in here.

    • Video Games says:

      Nah, it’s good. I’d rather have a bunch of long comments than a duplicate of the youtube comments section.

  10. Gig says:

    Pretty late for the party, but it’s interesting to note that the next version of Dwarf Fortress – a game known for building many many randomized stories from scratch at the world creation stage – will “activate the world”, as players say.

    Right now you can generate a world, which generates fictional history full of each and every person, beast, item, town and civilization that has ever lived or died in that world. However, once that process stops and the player starts to play around in that world, history is basically frozen and no progression is made to events and entities outside of the player’s doing – if I kill a famous grizzly bear who has killed many humans and has gained a title I create new events, but without that intervention that bear will never walk around killing more people, progressing in his story; but in the next version of Dwarf Fortress, as time passes between seasons the game will stop for a moment, randomly progress the world events (people dying of old age, beasts terrorizing towns, vampires created by gods and rising to positions of power and so on), and the world around you is literally changed as you play, affecting your own story and narrative, creating external events outside your doing that shape your characters’ story in unplanned (and yet still coherent) ways.

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