When we think of stories, we could mention at least a dozen different categories within which we classify our stories, and multiple ways of construction; i.e. short stories, novels, graphic novels, journals, etc. And those were just written examples. There is also audio-visual storytelling, theatre, and many more. Not least, video games. Naturally, I shall be talking about video games.
One of the great challenges when designing video games is not merely to design a game that is interesting and fun for the first one or two hours of play, since this is helped along massively by the novelty of the game, the world, the story, etc. Novelty drives much of the excitement and curiosity. But what then when this extends into 10+ hours of play? What happens when the novelty wears off? That is where a game must truly prove its mettle.
Sometimes in order to understand how video games affect you, you have to look at the real world. Horror games in virtual reality appear to affect people a lot, and it may very well be connected to levels of immersion.
How do you tell a good story in a video game? This is a challenge developers have struggled with since the early ages of video games, and more often than not, the story in a game comes across as slightly lacklustre in one way or another. Now, you could simply dismiss this as being down to video games favouring gameplay over narrative. However, the Telltale games success points toward another problem – one that indicates an intrinsic disparity between game and story.