What Do You Think of Video Games as Literature?

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BearCares
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Post by BearCares » September 6th, 2012, 3:32 am

Hello, I am new and the wonderful Joy Chan's readings are what have gotten me interested in this community!

But anyway, when I was young I was an avid reader, but also a gamer. I remember some really awesome stories being told in oldschool games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, and Breath of Fire III. And even slightly more modern fare such as Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Persona 4.

Some of the video games I've played have had a lot to say about the human condition in general and I would even rank their storytelling up there with Shakespeare's plays(!). Particularly I think that people such as Joy Chan would enjoy the storyline of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Persona 4, which are both games that explore man, religion, and even gender roles that people play in a society.

I take it a lot of you are readers but some of you might not be gamers. Would you be willing to become a gamer in order to experience some of the wonderful storytelling that you may have missed out on? I'm just curious.

And someone please help me get in contact with Joy Chan? :D

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Post by carolb » September 6th, 2012, 3:51 am

Hello BearCares - welcome to Librivox!

I don't go in for online videogames - tend to get a little addicted to online scrabble and mahjong, so have to speak sternly to myself sometimes.

As for finding Joy, her user name is Thadine. At the top of the page here you will see options. Click 'Members' then on the top right of that page click on 'Find a member'. Once found you can send a private message by clicking 'pm'

Carol

BearCares
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Post by BearCares » September 6th, 2012, 5:13 am

thank u kindly

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Post by catrose » September 6th, 2012, 7:53 am

Hi BearCares,
I'm just adding my opinion. :)
Before coming here I was quite the gamer (WoW, DaD, CoD, Skyrim, Assassins Creed ect.) and I have to disagree completely and utterly! Video games are video games. The deserve their own category. Occasionally you get some quite good spin-off books out of them (like WoW did a bunch of History books about the troll war and Assassins Creed: Renaissance is quite good) but this is as far as they go for literature. Google defines Literature as:
google wrote:lit·er·a·ture/ˈlit(ə)rəCHər/
Noun:
Written works, esp. those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit: "a great work of literature".
Cat :)

P.S. I need to add that I disagree with ranking them up there with the Might Bard himself. But then again, I'm a bit biased like that :D
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Post by TriciaG » September 6th, 2012, 8:09 am

Would you be willing to become a gamer in order to experience some of the wonderful storytelling that you may have missed out on? I'm just curious.
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Post by Cori » September 6th, 2012, 9:02 am

It's, to me, like saying "would you be willing to see a 8hr play at the theatre, having never been before?" It's going to appeal to some people and not to others, just like ploughing through dusty old classic novels might not work for avid movie-goers.

Games can have amazing and powerful stories. But I wouldn't press them on anyone, any more than I'd force someone into reading Anna Karenina or watching Gatz. It's too personal to be dictatorial about.

They are never amazing literature, for the reason Cat gives.
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Post by Jessi » September 6th, 2012, 11:32 am

The title made me think of interactive fiction or text adventure games, they had that debate going on all the time as far as I remember. For me personally it didn't matter, it's just different ways to tell a story, though I have to admit I've pretty much stopped playing video games some years ago because they became to time-consuming for me (I can't stop playing if I'm really into a game, so I rather abstain from it altogether :? ).

enko

Post by enko » September 6th, 2012, 12:46 pm

What other video games provide a literary experience.
catrose wrote:Before coming here I was quite the gamer (WoW, DaD...
What is Dad?

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Post by catrose » September 6th, 2012, 12:49 pm

enko wrote: What is Dad?
Dungeons and Dragons! I used to play it on my old computer, but I haven't been on it for a while because it doesn't work on my current computor. (Sorry, most people call it DnD or D+D, but me and my friends are special! :) )

EDIT: Ahh it's DDO now! Dungeons and Dragons online! Sorry guys, abbreviations confuse me, yet I'm too lazy to write things out in full!

Oh, for anyone elses interest the other games are: WoW= World of Warcraft CoD= Call of Duty

Hmm. Other games? Surely Sims could count, but there you kind of make your own games! And Professor Layton games for the Nintendo DS are the best! You have a story and you have to solve puzzles to progress through it, and it's kind of like Sherlock Holmes.
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Post by aidanbrack » September 6th, 2012, 12:57 pm

I am a video gamer and still play regularly on various platforms, although much less than I did in college! I do think that video games can be viewed as literature but the challenge is that because the stories often unfold in different ways depending on your actions, few people have a common experience of them making it more challenging to study them the way you might do a film or book.

I'd certainly argue that games like Heavy Rain, Assassin's Creed and the Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City games have strong characters, plotlines and themes that I think justify the label of 'art'. Whether it's good art or bad art is a different matter. :)

Personally I'm just looking forward to the day when these enter the public domain and Librivoxers can begin recording them... 8-)

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Post by JohanLiebert » September 6th, 2012, 4:24 pm

aidanbrack wrote:Personally I'm just looking forward to the day when these enter the public domain and Librivoxers can begin recording them... 8-)
By the time they enter public domain, it will be our grandchildren who'll record them... if video games follow the traditional copyright :lol:
but really, some video games have a good story in them... like Culdcept (if you guys know it) :D
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Post by jollyrogered » September 11th, 2012, 7:10 am

I'm a pretty big gamer. I play both video games, and strategy games with miniatures etc.

No, its not literature, but a good video game is still an excellent venue for both art and story telling. Its an excellent audio-visual presentation that allows the sympathizer to fully immerse themselves in story, and to guide its outcome. I love a good story in all forms though.

This is actually soemthing that is currently being explored at the Smithsonian Art Museum, they are currently running an exhibit on the Art of Video Games. Its a pretty genius, fun, and interactive exhibit actually. I highly recommend you look it up.
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Post by J_N » September 11th, 2012, 7:48 am

BearCares wrote:I take it a lot of you are readers but some of you might not be gamers. Would you be willing to become a gamer in order to experience some of the wonderful storytelling that you may have missed out on? I'm just curious.
Uhm... nope :)

I used to play quite a lot of video games (anyone remember the Philips G7000, Atari, SegaMegaDrive?Image)

And I always preferred those that needed skills or brain (Indiana Jones, Myst, Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max etc.) which tended to be quite story heavy... but I really don't have the patience for them anymore... it takes AGES to get through a game (especially if you can't skip the videos/talking :roll:), I much rather read a book (or record one :lol:)
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Post by Morlock » September 11th, 2012, 11:09 pm

Funny this should be mentioned. I was out of the loop on video games for a while, just playing older machines: sega genesis, and yes, the Atari 2600 (which I discovered actually works okay with a sega controller!) But later my cousin introduced me to the wii.

He let us borrow his and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was one of the choices. WOW! Brain vacation after years of far too much stress. And I hadn't gradually watched much evolution in video games so I was blown away. To me this was as VR as it got. I'd play it for hours, get up and my sense of balance and motion was all messed up and I got dizzy. I saw the moon come up and think it'd only be a few minutes before it was daylight again.

Beyond this, I was like, "That was one HECK of a mini-series/movie!" I didn't shy from using walkthrough websites because I REALLY wanted to know the rest of the story! And didn't know any of the other Zelda games hardly at all. Nothing has compared since to me to that one. (Plus I appreciate having a different association crop up in my mind than most when I hear the word: twilight. ^_^) I thought it was an amazing story.

I've played computer games on and off for ages, not a lengthy mood that I can admit, but it comes and goes.

Something triggered me to look for spooky games this year. (That's a good story in itself too, but only if anyone wants to hear it.) I realised they must have improved as much as ever. (My mind was on one from the old TRS-80/Tandy days.) So I popped into a shop on my way home and found Mystery of Mortlake Mansion and Return to Ravenhearst. Little did I realise how far the I Spy books inspired these as well as a SLEW of others! I started getting hooked but have found that when the story stinks I lose interest and don't want to replay the game. I actually went out of my way to find a copy of the first Ravenhearst game. It wasn't very good, mainly as it was ALL I Spy type scenarios with nearly zilch on the puzzles, HOWEVER I was grateful to get the first half of the story! So in that way it was worth it.

In that realm, though, I'm picky. I want spooky/Victorian, and not too many characters. But a good story.

Used to play Guild of Thieves on the Amiga... never DID find out what happened...

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Post by catrose » September 11th, 2012, 11:26 pm

I really enjoy Scary Girl. It's an online RPG/platform game. The graphics of it are amazing and the storyline is, well, insane! It's like being in a dream. Google it :)
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