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Games with masterful stories don’t really do much to prove gaming as an artful medium imo

What made me think of this statement was a recent video by a YouTuber named max derrat and his video talking about most profound games.

Now I don’t necessarily disagree with any of the picks in his video, but I do have problem with his idea of profound. And I feel like it really just crosses the line and undermines gaming as a medium of its on.

Basically only games with philosophical stories and ones that delve into intellectual discourse like a movie or book are valid. I just feel like this is too much of one tracked mindset to judging art. Gaming is so drastically different that judging it by the principles that we’d give books and stopping there fails to capture all of what makes gaming artful.

And until VR fully takes off, gaming has the most to say in interactivity that have their own philosophy to accompany it.

Which I wish more people touted as the draw in gaming.

In the video he mentions Dark souls which I also believe to be a very profound game, but he makes a point talking about how “if you go past the gameplay you will find the most intricate, intelligently crafted lore.” Now what he says about the lore isn’t particularly wrong, it’s the fact that he ignores how the gameplay in itself is profound. The way dark souls weaves themes of futility into it’s narrative and then have players confront that theme through their own efforts is brilliant. The way illusions(players) almost mirror our interactions with people in real life, short and brief with only loneliness remaining afterwards, but knowing they’re going through the same suffering as us gives us comfort. Dark souls is a game where your professor would have to obtain a certain level of skill and refine their mindset to truly see the beauty in it, that in itself opens up a can of worms for what it means to consume media.

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This is just the little I wanted to include for dark souls without making this into a big post, but there is so much meaning and emotion you can derive from dark souls gameplay that is equal to it’s lore.

I also think how games go through the process of delivering you their narrative can be very profound and the way dark souls does it in a very cryptic and challenging way almost evokes a certain emotion. Or something like botw which essentially tells players to become their own authors and make the story.

It just feels like a backhanded compliment overall and it feels like gaming isn’t actually being accepted as whole rather the parts that were always accepted because they aren’t unique to gaming are given a pass. Games can say much more than just their script, if you actually fully accept it.

Here’s the link to the guys vid: the vid is still enjoyable for what it does imo.


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