Here is Part 2 of my posts concerning genre storytelling in different mediums. The first part can be found here and details Movies and Television Shows. This post I will talk about Video Games and the ultimate form, novels. If there are any suggestions for additions to these posts or any questions, please feel to leave a comment.
I’ll be honest, I love sitting down and playing a video game. As a kid it was always because it was fun or to try for the hundredth time to beat my brother in a game of 007: Goldeneye. It’s only now that I can look back with more experience and knowledge and realize a simple fact, I’m controlling a movie that lasts as long as a book.
That direct control and interaction plays a critical role in the immense popularity of video games and the multi-billion dollar industry that has been built around it. This is only further compounded by the fact that video game developers in the modern era are realizing the critical importance of story and going to great lengths in order to ensure their games have a story that can survive the critiques of millions of people worldwide.
Developers have also used this opportunity to revisit old myths and expose them to a younger generation that may not have had the exposure to these myths. Perhaps the greatest example of this can be found in the God of War series. While offering a schewed version of the myths with the interjection of new characters, the developers still have done a fantastic job of including varied elements pulled directly from myth. Including Daedalus and the Labyrinth, the war between the Gods and the Titans, and a host of monsters including cyclops, satyrs, centaurs, and harpies.
Writers can use all of this to their advantage. Whether it’s drawing inspiration from the stories, either new or original, or engaging in the dynamic combat systems. League of Legends is another prime example of engaging story/lore to go along with the gameplay. Boasting over a hundred unique champions, each with a unique lore that just oozes creativity, I find it hard not to be inspired on some level.
Use Video Games to your advantage. They’re a fantastic way to unwind after a long day writing while simultaneously giving you the opportunity to become immersed in the latest technological medium of storytelling.
- Prince of Persia
- League of Legends
- God of War Trilogy
Oh books. My first true love. At the center of this entire post about genre storytelling lies the centuries old medium of the book.
Before we had the technology of film and television, and subsequently computers to make video games, if you wanted to go on a far-flung adventure through a fantasy world you were limited to your imagination and the words set down by a faithful author. For the media addicted youth of today this is often seen as the most boring of potential mediums and is unfortunately tossed to the wayside in pursuit of more engaging options.
Personally, this whole concept is ludicrous. Nothing engages me more fully or for nearly as long as a book. I don’t forgo hours of sleep to reach the next level of a video game, but I will spend hours tucked in bed ready to fall asleep as I mutter, “Just one more page,” to myself.
The ability of writers to convey their world in the form of writing is a feat that should not be taken for granted. Not only is the work long and arduous but the number of devoted years it takes to go from a simple idea to a published novel can extend into the double digits. Movies, Video Games, Television Shows, each are fine and can be original but take another look at the media your consuming and you’ll start to see the stories inspired by novels written years before.
Books are the root of much of our stories that make up our lives. If your looking for a place to start your studies of storytelling let it begin at the root with books.
- Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
- Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
- Lightbringer Trilogy by Brent Weeks
- Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson