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The story in games these days are lacking....


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Posted on Nov 6, 2012 2:57:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 3:12:51 PM PST
"A real bookstore or the sort of big corporate book chain that Amazon is going to put out of business?"

Even "The Tattered Cover" here in Denver (our wonderful local bookstore) puts pulp and trashy romance out to attract the street crowds. Making a living off telling stories shouldn't be frowned upon anyway. I always loved the idea of the minstrel (or wandering bard in Welsh mythology and my old Lloyd Alexander books) who paid for his fare with a song or yarn told around a hearth. Barnes and Nobles is considerably more crass than that romantic view of a sellsong, but it's not a sin to profit off your talent.

I'm not saying that owning a copy of Bioshock means you can put your Robert Browning collection to the torch, either. Most video game writers are still unsure of how to use the medium to its full potential, and yet more are just rehashing literature and movies of days gone by (I love Final Fantasy IV, but Golbez IS Darth Vader lol). I predict great things for storytelling in video games though, as a fledgling artform it's already having a huge effect on our culture.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:06:10 PM PST
Harry Potter is a ripoff of Books of Magic? I think they're both examples of the ancient story archetype of "Someone finds out he special, gets introduced to the world he REALLY belongs to, he's the Chosen One." That's one of the oldest story types ever.

See also almost every JRPG made between the dawn of time and now.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:12:18 PM PST
I have to respond to the fact that you compared Browning to BioShock. I truly believe that owning both would not make me want to set fire to each of them, either. I believe that BioShock is BioShock, and that's it will ever be.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 3:14:12 PM PST
I just picked my favorite poet and a game that started with "B" heh heh. I do love Bioshock, though, so I'm guilty of that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:18:07 PM PST
BioShock is BioShock.

A is A.

Ayn Rand would be proud.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:19:17 PM PST
DVvM says:
Bioshock or not Bioshock?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:24:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 3:25:50 PM PST
Personally, I hate people who use highly regarded works as a security blanket when attacking your favorite pieces of fiction. They assume that the reason why you highly regard something (with just about anything, I've seen it happen when people tried to attack my taste in heavy metal) is because they think you do not know better. It's a completely wrong and idiotic straw man argument, and it pisses me off to this day.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:24:47 PM PST
Wait, what?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:26:02 PM PST
It can not be both. Contradictions do not exist. Check your premises.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 3:26:11 PM PST
C.W. says:
I recommend this book to anyone interest in storytelling, especially specific forms like the heroic archetype:

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:27:09 PM PST
DVvM says:
Well, I never said that all books are born out of pure and honest desire to share stories, certainly some are commercial products.

But I would venture that the number of books written for the joy of putting words on the page or of telling a story vastly outstrips the number of games that are made for the sheer joy of making the game. Though the handful of games that do fall into that latter category (e.g. Cave Story) tend to turn out great.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:27:38 PM PST
You said that BioShock is BioShock, and that's all it will ever be. I agree. BioShock can be nothing other than BioShock. It is what it is. In other words, A is A.

Mostly, I was just making a reference to the fact that BioShock makes a lot of references to the works of Ayn Rand.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:27:45 PM PST
The Monomyth actually had an influence on Journey's overall structure.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:29:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 3:29:49 PM PST
DVvM says:
A is A doesn't necessarily imply that A is not also B.

This sandwich is simultaneously a sandwich and tasty. Socrates was Socrates, a man, a mortal, and a philosopher (among other things.)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:30:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 3:32:42 PM PST
That's very true. Ayn Rand was a big influence on BioShock's story, although Ken Levine has made it clear that her writings were an influence only (in other words, Andrew Ryan shares similarities, and he's made it clear he's actually not an Objectivist). There are a lot of other influences, including Miller's Crossing, The Manchurian Candidate, George Orwell (Animal Farm has a big influence on all of his works), and many more.

One thing that is not true about the game is the fact it's not anti-objectivist. Ken Levine has said in interviews that the reason why he used his work as inspiration is because Ayn Rand has influenced his own world view more than any body else, of all things.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:31:39 PM PST
Fun fact: Rapture was founded on Guy Fawkes' Day.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:32:55 PM PST
Right. A can be "more things than just A." But it cannot simultaneously be A and not A. BioShock cannot simultaneously be itself and not BioShock.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:33:31 PM PST
DVvM says:
However it is necessarily the case that it is either Bioshock or not Bioshock.

It may not be Bioshock and not Bioshock.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:33:34 PM PST
I don't see the connection...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:34:19 PM PST
That's exactly what I just said.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:35:10 PM PST
DVvM says:
The first rule of tautology club is the rule of tautology club that comes first.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:35:23 PM PST
Only that Levine's fiction uses a lot of references to politically-charged historical figures.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:36:32 PM PST
Yes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXiU6kiq_Ms

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:42:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 3:42:29 PM PST
I'm curious to see all the books and other influences Infinite will carry. So far, the only book is The Devil in the White City. Well, that and Meet me in St. Louis =). Personally, the latter influence is way more exciting. I also do know that he talked to both members of the Tea Party and the Occupy movement personally. He also said he did a lot of historical research.

I heard that there will be a science bent. Ken said that he hasn't picked up a science book since high school, so he brought in a bunch of consultants from MIT to help him. Given MIT's reputation as being one of the best schools for science, I'm curious to see what they will bring.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 3:43:10 PM PST
I can see the argument that BioShock is a rather scathing indictment of Objectivism, but the thing is that Andrew Ryan isn't really an Objectivist. Or more accurately: Rapture is not the type of place that Galt's Gulch is. The Gulch, for example, had very little government. Ryan, on the other hand, imposed sanctions on the types of things that people could read. His society was also brought down by a conman, which may indicate that human nature pretty much means the notion of a society like Galt's Gulch is impossible. Perhaps not coincidentally, BioShock 2 pretty much says the same thing about a perfectly communist society.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  43
Total posts:  135
Initial post:  Oct 31, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 8, 2012

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