ByJared M. Kuntz, writer at
Video game nerd, book enthusiast, music lover and film fanatic, also an aspiring author with zero motivation.
Jared M. Kuntz

I'm not a big poster on MP, though I'm beyond passionate about what I write; the subject matter, the word use, the audience, everything. So, please, stick with me even if you're not roped in by my post; I'm here to encourage deeper thought on a controversial topic, and that topic is the acceptance of video games as a new fine art form, along side movies, music, literature, etc.

Video games used to be simply about sheer entertainment: puzzle challenges, endless waves of combatants, fatalities, mindless racing and quick cooperative fun. Now, you're seeing some of the darkest, most emotionally-charged stories come to life, with you as the driving force, throwing you into every graphic, depressing situation. Games aren't just about entertainment now, no, they're becoming so much more. Many people like to reference Naughty Dog's "The Last of Us" as the prime example. Yes, this is a prime example, but not the only one. Take the image above, from the sleeper hit "Alan Wake." The game follows the titular Alan Wake, an author suffering from writer's block who decides to go on a vacation with his wife to Bright Falls, Washington, in the hopes of relieving the stress in his mind. But, in this Twin Peaks-esque town of mysterious characters, his world is turned upside-down when Alice, his wife, is taken by a supernatural force and Alan is forced into a situation he cannot comprehend. The game is designed like an episodic miniseries, broken into six different episodes, detailing the epic and grueling journey of a man who took his world for granted.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

How are video games not an official art form yet when with many games already, they combine elements from literature like quotes and subtitles? When the use of cinematics stick players in their seats and have them watch the story unfold just like a movie, with orchestral scores that bear the same structure as those of film scores, artwork that helps to build the moving digital backdrop similar to animated features, and then real actors and actresses, delivering lines from a script, and acting through motion capture instead of ordinary film cameras? Not just that, but games even branch out into film adaptations and novelizations, or novels that expand on the universe the game(s) created.

Artwork from Metro: Last Light
Artwork from Metro: Last Light

Now, if you'd like more examples of games that rely on storytelling over mindless action and random gameplay moments, find clips of "BioShock Infinite" on YouTube, or watch the launch trailer for "Beyond: Two Souls." The best bet though, is to watch the opening fifteen minutes of "The Last of Us." There hasn't been a single movie I've seen in my life with a more powerful and gripping opening sequence, one so jam-packed with white-knuckle terror and heart-wrenching emotion that leaves you in shock, as you attempt to process what just happened.

Now, as this is the end of my post, I ask everyone reading to please comment on what you think of this. I also ask everyone to be kind and polite; no need to be rude here. I would really like to hear input on this topic, because it deserves serious consideration.


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