NYT on games as storytelling devices

PS3 Fanboy links to an article from the NYT titled The Shootout Over Hidden Meanings in a Video Game.

The content in question is the very engaging (and slightly complex) Metal Gear series.

Is the Sisyphean mission of Solid Snake — to rid the world of a robotic nuclear tank called Metal Gear — a parable about the futility of war or about its necessity? A critique of America’s domination of the global stage? A metaphor for the struggle between determinism and free will?

Others object to the sheer density of the story, spanning seven games released over 20 real-world years, that players are asked to master [emphasis mine]

PS3 Fanboy adds:

Just as films have evolved into an acceptable means of telling a full, gratifying story, it won’t be long before video games achieve the same distinction.

One thought on “NYT on games as storytelling devices”

  1. I had to laugh at “slightly complex.” Everything about Metal Gear starts confusing me if I take my mind off of it for too long. I’m playing 4 now and I’m inspired to go back and re-play them all to get a better handle on it.

    While I don’t think the Metal Gear series really tells the best stories (it’s pretty over the top for my tastes), I do think it’s entertaining and a few of the characters are the most engaging personalities anywhere in gaming.

    Have you seen the database? I love the database!

    http://blog.us.playstation.com/2008/06/18/metal-gear-solid-4-guns-of-the-patriots-database-on-the-way/

    Additionally, I find myself really interested in the Grand Theft Auto IV story. While I like the gameplay and I love driving around and running over people (who doesn’t?), I’m really playing now to find out what’s going to happen with Nico & Roman. It’s exciting that games are being afforded this leniency to tell stories in different ways, even if a whole lot of people are still complaining about hour long cutscenes.

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