Now, before I start, let me say Will Wright is a really smart guy. Made (and will continue to make) lots of popular, and good, games. I even ostensibly work for the same company he does (although we are many, many degrees separated).
But who the fuck does he think he is coming along taking a shit in my proverbial fucking cereal?
Let me explain – at the South-by-Southwest Festival this year, Wright gave a talk that covered storytelling in games. I can’t even link to proper coverage of it, I can only link to coverage of the coverage. But he goes on about how story in games is flawed, player stories (like the experience one has playing the Sims, or soon, Spore) are much more compelling. How all the traditional stories in games fall flat and the future is, basically, his games. Oh, and the cereal shitting thing is a Kevin Smith reference.
Um, door number 3 please? For starters, looking at storytelling in games at this point and saying, because they suck, a game can’t have use any “traditional” storytelling methods is pretty flawed logic (Raph Koster, this means you too).
There’s sooooo much to be explored in the middle, taking authored storylines and weaving them around players, that to dismiss it simply because you don’t think the mission structure in Grand Theft Auto stacks up… Craziness! Baby, bathwater, you get the idea.
So, ok, he’s entitled to his opinion, and his talent and success also entitle him to more power of broadcasting that opinion. But what sort of ticks me off, is that there are young potential game developers out there now, maybe they’re studying in a game design program, and they think, well gee, Will Wright said stories in game suck, I’m not gonna explore anything having to do with stories in games because he’s smart so obviously he’s (w)right.
Fuck that! Sigh.
He is right about one thing though, an emotion games can convey unlike any other medium is guilt. But we’ll leave that for another time.