Video games as literature

When you ask an avid reader of fantasy about some of their favorite stories, you will be regailed with everything from the expected epic hero to convoluted plots of subterfuge, snidely allegorical politics, and characters that words have fleshed out to some extent that the reader truly, deeply feels their failures and their victories.  Fiction has captured the heart of its patrons for thousands of years. When words are alive on the paper, we are compelled to bring them to life. Thus was born illustration, and even theater. Theater is considered fine art, intellectual. You don’t berate someone with an appreciation for Shakespeare for choosing an interest that is vapid and useless.

Yet this applies to gamers. As soon as the controller is thrown into the equation of story, illustration, theater, it becomes something slobbish and mind numbing to the eyes of the world. Video games have the most expansive story lines in fiction today-series spanding across several games with plotlines as intricate and enchanting as Tolkien or Jordan might have wrote them. A recent, and popular game, Skyrim, already has the bad rap for being addictive, and therefore destructive. But we don’t heckle someone spending their time in a book for their interest. Yet Skyrim follows a series of games-the elderscrolls, that have created a world as lush as middle earth with hundreds of years of history and stories that one can immerse themselves in for the same reasons they would stick their nose in a book. But in skyrim, there is another facet-more money in art here than goes into a Hollywood movie. More time, more adoration on the part of a huge team than any play, novel, or other work of fiction.  We are not limited to fiction either-the Assassin’s creed series features heavy historical reference that has been thoroughly researched over years and years. This is the narrative our generation will be judged by, these games are the masterpieces of the future. The narrative began with verbal stories-passed down histories embellished to the point of complete fantasy. Then the written word aided in making these stories concrete. Illustration and theater brought them to life and cinema brought them to the general public. Now, Video games have made these narratives something more personal, more beautiful and interactive in a way those first oral historians might never have dreamed of.