While the video game industry is still in its infancy, recent technological advancements have made it possible to tell incredible stories. From the Mass Effect TrilogyFinal Fantasy XUncharted 4, all of Telltale’s games, and lest we forget The Last of Us, video games have been putting out better narrative tales than films for a few years now. While the film industry has become stagnant with constant reboots and recycled ideas, the gaming industry never ceases to provide something new, despite a number of remasters at the beginning of this console generation. Video games offer an opportunity that nothing else: an immersive experience that allows you to take on the role of a character and become that character. This couldn’t be more true than in the Mass Effect Trilogy and Telltale’s games, especially their Batman series and Walking Dead saga. This is why video games are a superior story medium than film.

Video Games are a Superior Story Medium Than Film

While films took their first steps in the 1920s towards becoming a true narrative form, it took a while for the industry to truly take off. Video games, on the other hand, have taken off at an exponential rate. In a mere 30 to 40 years it has produced some of the greatest stories ever told, and the technology is only getting better. Watching a film or TV series, such as LOST  and Game of Thrones, which are unparalleled in their excellence (and Westworld), still fall short of the potential that gaming has to offer. While I generally look down on Uncharted 4, there is no doubt that it is an immersive experience and the story isn’t half bad. Even the Call of Duty games, such as the Modern Warfare Trilogy, has a fantastic narrative; in fact, it has the best story of any first-person shooter.

Video Games are a Superior Story Medium Than Film

Film is great, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to bash film or television as a medium. In fact, I believe LOST and Game of Thrones to be the best stories to grace the small screen. The Star Wars Saga is my favorite film series of all time. There is no Star Wars or even Game of Thrones video game that even comes close to eclipsing either. Despite that though, as video games continue to grow and innovate, there will be, eventually. Lord of the Rings has even spawned Shadow of War and Shadow of Mordor, which are excellent games that take place in the Lord of the Rings universe with a wonderful narrative as well as an immersive experience. And one cannot forget Horizon Zero Dawn, which offered both an amazing story and immersive gameplay in an unfamiliar world whose mysteries are slowly uncovered.

Video Games are a Superior Story Medium Than Film

Mass Effect 3 is the epitome of an immersive experience in any video game. The storytelling is impeccable and you shape your character. Your choices from the previous games matter. You are Commander Shepard. You feel what he feels. The loss, the pain, the companionship, the drive, the determination; all of it. It’s an incredible journey and it’s deeply emotional. While some may dislike the ending, it is the journey to Shepard’s path that ultimately matters, not the end result. It trumps any other narrative in any video game.

Video Games are a Superior Story Medium Than Film

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is another example of an immersive experience where you literally feel as if you are Link. You feel his desire to rescue Zelda, you go through countless trials and feel as if you are being tested yourself. The motion controls, especially using the Goddess Sword/Master Sword, make for one of the most immersive gameplay experiences there is. The story is the best in the series and it is more plot-driven than any other game in the series, although there is some fantastic character development, with Link going through tremendous growth throughout the game as well as Zelda, Groose, and some of the NPCs you encounter in Skyloft.

Video Games are a Superior Story Medium Than Film

Film is a fantastic narrative tool. Video games are catching up though and have even surpassed it as a storytelling mechanism in many respects. To imagine that this all started with Pong and now has spawned into the most immersive narrative tool there is. Gaming has come a long way, but it has a ways to go yet. It’s still in its infancy, which is insane. Developers are still discovering storytelling potential within video games.

The immersion gaming offers compared to film and other narrative forms is unparalleled, and it’s scary to think about the future of gaming and the potential it offers.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VGCultureHQ. He has been writing about games for over five years and has written over 1,500 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

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