Video Games have evolved as an art form over the decades, and the push to tell deeper and more meaningful stories has come from the indie side. Games dealing with depression, suicide, sexuality, and much more are available. But no matter how far video games have come and will go, it presents a very tricky conversation: Are video games the right medium for these stories?
Due to being overwhelmed with projects and work, I didn’t get a chance to talk about horror for Halloween. However, I still want to discuss the challenges of horror design. Despite the number of games from the Indie space, good horror design in video games is quite difficult to pull off, and makes for an interesting discussion.
Today’s Critical Thought returns to the topic of Morality in Video games. First popularized by Knights of the Old Republic, morality became the “buzz mechanic” of the 00’s. I talked about my problems with it, while trying to find examples of when it actually worked. I had a little extra to say at the end about games that avoided black and white morality.
I’ve been playing through Rise of the Tomb Raider lately. Going through it, I’m finding myself in the same position as the first game: Liking it, but not loving it. And one of the major reasons is how the game fails to balance the gameplay with the story they want to tell. For today’s post, I want to expand on this clash between gameplay vs. story and how it created a ludonarrative dissonance.