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October 14, 2009 / Joe Osborne

Coffee Talk: Have Games Achieved Significant Literary Quality?


It’s movie time again, Geekadelphians. If you’re not in the mood to watch this video, allow us to explain. A recent ABC News Web Exclusive explored the idea that Nintendo and Retro Studios may have successfully mastered the art of interactive storytelling with the Metroid Prime Trilogy. IGN’s Michael Thomsen goes on to relate the Metroid series’ success to Orson Wells’ critically acclaimed Citizen Kane, which many argue changed cinematography forever. Alright, now you probably want to watch the video.

If it’s true that Metroid series revolutionized narrative in video games (which would be difficult to argue against), there must be other titles that have at least contributed to video games’ progress as a popularly appreciated narrative medium. Titles like Shadow of the Colossus, which depicts a deep and engaging narrative using minimal dialogue, and select titles from the Final Fantasy series (a traditional-yet-effective approach) come to mind.

Putting Thomsen’s argument aside for a moment, have video games have come so far as to be regarded as an acceptable narrative medium? If so, what titles or franchises come to mind? If not, what is barring video games from achieving this status? Click on that headline and let’s discuss!

(Image via Wired)


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