The Unsettling Evolution of Video Game Storylines

Last week on the first episode of the Secret Cave podcast, I decided to start a bit of an argument. The statement was as follows:

“If a game doesn’t have a storyline, it’s shit.”

It’s not my opinion, or even something I’d thought deeply about, but I did have a bit of an idea what I meant by it.

For a start, I want to differentiate between the types of story games can have:

  1. Implied story: A story that can be gleaned from sparse dialog, box art, visual clues, and wider context
  2. Forced story: A story that is inextricably part of the game, like many RPGs

An example of type 1 would be Minecraft, where paintings and hidden content tells the story.…   [continue reading]

Toy Story

toy-story-hotel

Toy Story was a film of firsts, which set the bar so high that it may be some time before we see its like again. ย Some may argue that more relevant Pixar releases, such as Upย orย Inside Out, have managed to match it, but I will admit to not being one of them. ย Neither of those releases, despiteย Up‘s excellence, have been able to come anywhere near to the quality that permeates every aspect ofย Toy Story‘s production. ย Simply consider how it birthed a genre and visual style without resting on those laurels. ย Today it would be enough that it was some great visual step for mankind, not feeling any obligation to enhance that with consistently hilarious humour, memorable characters, sympathetic themes and the depth of an ocean.…   [continue reading]