I love playing games. Well, actually I love visual storytelling and I think video games have produced some of the most interesting storytelling experiences of the last 15 years. I would place my enjoyable experiences watching a season of The Wire in the same sentence as Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and a playthrough of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. I’m not saying they are the same experience. They’re completely different. However, what they do have in common is that I thoroughly enjoyed watching each of their respective stories unfold. I loved the mastery of acting, cinematography, narrative, and programming that went in to making them all fun to watch, to play and to experience.
So, yes! I have a lot of fun playing video games and experiencing interactive storytelling, which is why I’m such an advocate of games that avoid the derivative narrative of goblins, wizards, military shooters, scantily clad women and the omnipresent white male protagonist. Make no mistake, there is a time and place for playing as a white knight who blasts monsters with his fire staff while a sexy princess waits for him in the bowels of a castle somewhere. I’ve played those games. They’re fun. But, there are far more things to make a game about so let’s see them already. Further, considering how diverse we are as a group of developed nations and the possibilities inherent in interactive entertainment, the untapped story telling opportunities are exciting.
Therefore, it is with great shame that I realized after seeing the advertisement for The Journey Down that I haven’t written about any of these exceptional games, particularly those that I have played recently. These are games that get diversity right. They are thought out, well written, designed, and executed. So, allow me over the next few posts to talk about why I loved them and why you should go out and buy them today. No, today!
1. Papo & Yo
3. Sound Shapes
4. Journey (coming soon)
5. Spec Ops: The Line (coming soon)