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Letters from the Front


This question has been a topic of debate for years, ever since the late ‘2000s with games like BioShock to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Lately, the discussions have been great with games like Mafia III and Battlefield 1, but not everybody is on board that videogames can have a great story. I stand by this that videogames are as good as a medium as movies are, they’re great storytellers, a prime example I always bring up is BioShock, the original.

Ever since I got into an argument with my friend who argues that videogames aren’t good storytellers, I wanted to write this as a one-off piece to attempt to argue that point. Looking back at the games I’ve played, I can’t agree that videogames aren’t good storytellers, sure some games have bad stories and just overall cringe worthy but most games aren’t like that.

The answer to the argument is easy: A good writer can turn anything into gold but in the same vein, a bad writer can turn anything into pile of shit and call it a day. Unlike movies or TV shows or books, videogames have to evolve into a story. The lore comes into the play, the characters come into play, the tones and the themes must come together, and numerous other parts including gameplay must come together to make something great. BioShock turns moral choices into the story as you walk through Rapture, Mass Effect is all about your choices, Fallout is something similar to Mass Effect, Mafia III is a tale of revenge set at a time of great despair. I agree that videogames haven’t really done something akin to Citizen Kane, The Dark Knight, Interstellar, Gone with the Wind but videogames have delivered some epic moments that can be akin to something like Lord of the Rings or the Road.


My stance on the matter, as a person who is much critical of games as he is with movies, videogames will be another place to experience great stories that stay with you as much as a great movie does.

Now, my attention turns to you: What do you think? Can videogames be another medium for great stories? Fire away, friends.

6 comments on “Videogames: Reliable Storytellers?

  1. A good way to think about this is video game can tell good stories but, unlike books and other forms of media, they don’t have to. Games are a different medium and can’t always be judged in the same way as films and such are.

    1. Physics says:

      Agreed! Films are films, books are books, and videogames are videogames. They’re based differently on different platforms.

  2. LetterForge says:

    Video games come in different genres and story telling is one of those genres. The Final Fantasy series is a great example of that genre.

    1. Physics says:

      I actually never played Final Fantasy, but I agree.

  3. tedthewizard says:

    Very nice blog. Video games can tell all the stories they want, it brings more fun to the imagination already there.

    1. Physics says:

      Thanks. Videogames can tell all sorts of stories, like movies. They can be political, tell a message, etc. That’s why I like them.

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