Now, I have to give movies a lot of credit for making single player games the way they are but I think games are the next evolution for telling a story than movies.
First of all, there's a lot of freedom for the length of a video game. Movies are usually 2 hours long with most animation movies being like one and a half hours long to most Bollywood movies nearing or even exceeding the 3 hour mark a little bit. But that's it.
But video games can be short, like 5-7 hours and still deliver an amazing experience(like good cod campaigns or say hellblade) or they could be a decent length, like 10-30 hours(like halo campaigns, the last of us, most action adventure games), or could be quite large like have a 30-100 hours (mostly story driven RPGs like the witcher 3, fallout New Vegas or games like RDR 2) or they can be infinitely long and let you create your own story(like minecraft).
Video games just offer a more personal experience than movies and this is one of the reasons I hold the Arkham series superior to the dark knight movies. In the games, I WAS Batman and I beat up those annoying(yet sometimes hilarious) criminals rather than just watching him beat up a bunch of bad guys. Now that's not to say the game was even that easy, especially for 11 year old me and I remember playing the game on hard. Still, it did feel like a power trip.
This also helps by the fact that there are some very, very talented voice actors in the video game industry out of which few are recognised even among gamers. There is also the fact that video games have had some insane production quality with now stuff like motion captured performances becoming a staple for any triple a title. And it also helps that some very talented people from the movie industry also voice some characters in games. Like Mark Hamill voicing Joker in the Arkham series.
But still, video games aren't entirely built upon motion captured performances and exceptional voice acting. Like, I greatly enjoyed Undertale and games like Hitman series too(obviously not because of the story mind you).
This is another advantage video games have, they let you do whatever you want to do(or atleast what the developer wants you to do and unlike movie directors game designers are very liberal about what you can and can't do. Also there are mods and glitches and exploits so that's that). In fallout New Vegas, I could kill cannibals, or I could kill them and become a cannibal, or I could join them and then kill them, I mean, the possibilities are endless(obviously a hyperbole but a more accurate term would be a lot).
Another example would be the Hitman series, while I'm not really invested in its story that much, I have the opportunity to kill the target in whatever way I want to. I could poison him, I could stab him disguised as a pink flamingo mascot and then fly away, I could lead him to a prototype sentry gun and program it to shoot him, I could just snipe his car or I could cause the chandeliers above him to crash on his head. No movie offers you this kind of freedom, and they aren't meant to, but it is nice to have this freedom and this really helps pad the runtime of the game and offers a lot of replayability.
And there are games which completely let you create your own story. In minecraft you have to do the basic things first, punch trees, get wood, then get stone, then get iron, get diamonds, go to the nether few times, then go to the end and kill the dragon(and even these are completely optional). Then you could do anything. You could start building large farms and bases. You could explore the wonders of procedurally generated terrain(which tbh isn't that of a bad thing), you could just live under the surface, or even underwater or you could live in a simple house and just pet your Minecraft dogs and cats. So it just let's you create your own story after the initial few days(I mean Minecraft days).
Tbh I'm really lazy and bad at writing conclusions and idk why I've really……….oh wait I forgot to mention social commentary in video games. Well, video games have completely evolved not only in storytelling but also satirising the real world and social commentary. GTA and rdr for example have a lot of satire and social commentary. GTA's TV shows and ads are a humourous exaggeration of stardom, advertisements and excessive consumerism in real life. RDR 2 too has quite a bit of social commentary with the main characters being a bunch of ragtagg outlaws wanting to find a better place and standard of living through being outlaws and they criticize bureaucracy and corrupt officials. The main character, Arthur Morgan had accepted the fact that age of outlaws has ended and a civil society was the new society but he stuck with his friend/father figure/mentor Dutch purely out of loyalty. This trend of criticizing current society and government already has started in the 90s with games like metal gear solid being these silly Hollywoodish spy games while touching on complex matters like nuclear proliferation. (Tbh the metal gear solid series has touched upon many things like genetic enhancement, nuclear proliferation, AIs controlling the flow of data across the internet, war crimes, etc. It's a must play).
So, where was I? Yeah, I'm pretty lazy and bad at writing conclusions…..so yeah, games stories are soo good mostly because of movies and games have taken a lot of inspiration from them(ranging from the Wilhelm scream also implemented in many games to Spec ops the line inspired from the classic, Apocalypse now). But I think many video games have evolved to become much more powerful, interactive and meaningful than many movies. So thank you for coming to my TED talk.
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