A Coen Brothers Classic Reminds Me Why Video Game Storytelling Has Yet to Surpass Film

Joel Taveras writes, "I’ve never been one to argue the idea of video games surpassing cinema in many respects. In its short history, the medium has transformed from 8-bit blobs of color backed by MIDI music to glorious high definition masterpieces filled with orchestral scores. Its never been a better time to be a gamer. However, before we celebrate these victories against the naysayers and story-telling pundits like Roger Ebert, we need to realize that there’s one overlooked piece of the puzzle that’s missing — it’s something that came to me after re-watching a Coen Brothers classic."

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NYC_Gamer2114d ago

I doubt video games will surpass flim/books on story telling

FlashXIII2114d ago (Edited 2114d ago )

The thing is they could.. Video gaming allows you to get inside the main character like no other form of entertainment. The problem mainly lays with the perception of games as being something to play as opposed to something to experience.

sonicsidewinder2114d ago

Yeah well, you know, that's just like uhh...your opinion man.

Bathyj2114d ago

Shut the F*#K up Donny, you're out of your element.

Dr Face Doctor2114d ago

What makes you say that? The mere elasticity of interactive storytelling shows how much potential games have in that front.

MysticStrummer2114d ago (Edited 2114d ago )

I think games are already there, because they can involve the player in the story enough to feel sad when a favorite character dies, or feel nervous when a dangerous situation presents itself, or provoke thoughts on deep topics. On top of that, they can allow the player to impact the story through their actions and decisions. Just like with movies and books, not all games reach that high level of interesting/involving/deep storytelling. A higher percentage of books and movies do it because those mediums have been around much longer. As for The Big Lebowski, it's a good movie but not one of their best.

joab7772113d ago

i agree. And many today would say or have said that movies can never be as good as books because of their definite nature . Games do suffer from the same structure movies do but also have an element that movies miss. While it may be more productive to create a movie that u can rewatch and analyze again in 2 hours, games have the ability to completely draw u in. If u spend 40 hrs with a character and then realize that he may not exist, that everything he accomplished might not have happened, it would have real impact. Bioshock comes to mind. The setting and backdrop was astonishing. Then u find out the twist. It only fails, imo, to fully deliver at the very end as its video game nature took over, but it was amazing. Games hav the ability. Yes the majority simply cater to our more base nature & many are tryingto simply make money. But this is no different than most movies as most of the great ones are lost on the majority of the population and become cult classics etc. They will only get better and they arent very different from movies. Games must entertain with play and movies must entertain too in different ways. Id love to see a great comedic game. That would be awesome.

NeoBasch2114d ago (Edited 2114d ago )

Film has yet to surpass TV. If you want a good story on "film," you'd watch a TV show. My point is film nor books is the ideal medium for storytelling. It's just another medium.

I find stories in games like Persona 3/4, Digital Devil Saga, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Uncharted, and Shadow of the Colossus to be far better than most movies I've seen. And most books are rarely that good either. I hate this elitist mentality. Grow up.

EDIT: And yes, I read a lot of books/watch a lot of films. If you must know, I'm reading three books right now: The Black Prism, The Killing Moon, and Princess of Mars. I've seen over 150 movies over the past year. I know what I'm talking about.

Dr Face Doctor2114d ago

"And most books are rarely that good either."

That's only because there are so, so many.

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Crystallis2114d ago

Dat A**....

On topic. its very hard to create a game that has a great story, beautiful visuals, and awesome game play in one package. Usually one of those doesn't get much attn and its usually the story which is why get very generic boring stories.

nepdyse2114d ago

Three words. "Metal Gear Solid."

RedDead2114d ago (Edited 2114d ago )

Are you joking? I mean sure if you take 1 and 3 and pretend the other two don't exist, but as a whole? The whole story is

It just took the fantasy way to far...did not want or belong in MGS. Then Nanomachines and over dramatic **** MGS. No

MysticStrummer2114d ago (Edited 2114d ago )

lol Nanotech isn't far off in the present day. Way to keep up with reality. Metal Gear's story is pretty convoluted, but that's not a bad thing if you have what I like to call an "attention span". The link you provided shows that you don't have one of those.

Saladfax2114d ago

It's not the convoluted nature of the story which hurts the MGS series (although it doesn't really help).

It's the script which is in dire need of trimming and quality control. Even just cutting redundancy would make it a hell of a lot stronger overall.

Bimkoblerutso2113d ago (Edited 2113d ago )

Not that I mind if other folks like MGS, but I agree with Reddead and Saladfax. I think the series gets WAY too much credit in the narrative department.

It's got what's called the "soap-opera effect." Are the characters well-written? No, but this guy loves this girl and they can never be together or this lady's daughter just died or this dude has no problem obviously they are good characters. It's all very manipulative and deceptively deep.

And then the story is a convoluted mess (as in "convoluted" with a negative connotation). The plot twist is one of the shallowest ways to add "depth" to a narrative (*cough* Shyamalan), and Kojima obviously has a massive boner for plot twists. What, you think this organization is in control? Nope. Oh, so you thought this new organization was actually pulling the strings? Nope. And oh, surprise, surprise. That organization wasn't actually controlling anything either. Derp, nanomachines.

HarryKawkReturns2113d ago (Edited 2113d ago )


LOL at your Agree-Disagree ratio

Silly Mammo2114d ago

Movies/books are not interactive, thus its easier to create a story.

MySwordIsHeavenly2114d ago


Apparently, somebody never read the "You Choose The Scare" Goosebumps...

maniacmayhem2114d ago

The Big Labowski, instant classic and one of the Coen's best.

Even though games haven't achieved the level of classic story telling as movies, video games are still in its infancy compared to movie making. But I have to say there are some games that comes close. I know Silent Hill 2 and Bioshock were amazing games that I could put against any good movie anytime.

Both those games had an amazing story, great gameplay, great voice acting plus pacing.

Video games will definitely get there one day.

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