Video games are so different nowadays than from what they were two decades ago. Super Mario World was the big thing (and if you were nerdy enough, Final Fantasy II). Don’t get me wrong. There were a lot of other amazing games that were out too like Donkey Kong and Mortal Combat, but you wouldn’t expect games on the NES or SNES to depict involved and complex storylines. Gaming consoles back then were merely an “entertainment system”. I mean, it was kind of unheard of to create games with deep storylines since games were just for kids, right?
These days, I feel like games mean something more to some of us. We were the kids who grew up playing on our Gameboys and Playstations and we’ve watched them evolve, and watch the games evolve with them. Compared to the games we used to play, games like Witcher and Starcraft require a bit more skill beyond just the hand-eye coordination. We play games that require patience and skill that we just simply didn’t need back in the day. We have to focus heavily on the plot and decisions which put heavy emphasis on the story. We get to interact a bit more (a whole lot more really).
Witcher is a clear example of this and, when you think about it, it could have existed on the Super Nintendo. The gameplay focuses around you navigating Gerald around a medieval open styled world. The game itself is heavily based upon doing quests, helping other characters and let’s be honest… having sexy time. Every choice you make has an effect on how the game plays out, it impacts the way the ending is written, and you witness first-hand his wins, failures, heartbreaks and boobs. This being said, this game is so beautifully designed, it’s like an exploration of a life full of emotions. The focus on the gameplay and the emphasis on the plot really gives you a deeper experience — an experience you can really relish in and appreciate on a deeper level.
Witcher is just one of many games that are on this next-level of gaming narrative and depth. For instance, The Walking Dead series allow for similar looks into storytelling. What I absolutely love about this is that the game designers really question the style and means of how games are written and designed for the gaming community. There are gamers who will pour all their time, energy and love into it.
Nowadays, there are endless possibilities for how stories can be told and how they will come across to us. With more and more of these games next-level games continually being introduced into the mainstream, it just goes to show that they will definitely become the new way to tell stories, perhaps even eclipsing films as the preferred storytelling medium for the digital age.