Has a video game ever made you cry? No? That may be because you haven’t played the right game yet. Sure, there are plenty of run-jump-shoot-repeat blockbusters, where any story driving the game is an excuse for action. But over the past decade, a few game makers have created deeply engaging stories that may bring a tear to your eye. That includes titles like That Dragon, Cancer, where you fill the shoes of parents guiding their infant through terminal cancer. That such a game even exists shows the medium can deliver nuanced experiences with real emotional impact. “Interactive storytelling is important because we’re not just affected by the art from a passive standpoint,” says Leena van Deventer, a game developer, writer and educator in Melbourne, Australia. “Sometimes we’re more invested in the outcomes because we have a digital representation of ourselves on screen.” But that ability to tell complex, interactive stories became possible only as computers got faster and smarter. Here’s the story of storytelling in video games.In the beginning was ‘fun’ The first wave of successful video games emerged in the 1970s with the arrival of arcade machines and home consoles. Nolan Bushnell founded Atari and delivered Pong, a… Read full this story
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