Listening to the day two game of the year podcasts, I couldn't help but cringe a little whenever someone mentioned that the best video game stories basically amount to the dumbest movie stories. That I think, is a ridiculous sentiment. Jeff's idea of cutting out all gameplay and stitching together the cutscenes is also ridiculous. Video games are a completely different medium then movies, and they take advantage of the fact that they even HAVE game play elements to to tell stories in a completely different way. The idea of stripping out game play and stitching together the cutscenes is like saying you go to a movie and remove all the music and see if that movie still has the same emotional impact, or removing the special effects and watching people running around in front of green screens in their dumb mo cap suits.
You can't just strip out a major element of a medium and use it to compare to another medium. The thing that makes games unique is that they are not just two hours long, but rather multiple hours long, with a level of interactivity not seen in other mediums. A lot of the times, the best games reveal their stories during game play sequences, not just during cutscenes. In fact, that was one of the reasons that Uncharted was so fantastic; it took all those scenes that would normally have just been cutscenes in other games, and made them interactive. To remove the interactive element of a game in a medium where much of the actual story is conveyed during game play is... just a weird notion.
I believe that video games have the potential to make better stories. In fact, I personally would go as far as saying that some of the most emotionally resonant stories that I have experienced have been in video games. Sure there is a lot of garbage out there in video games, but there is a ton of garbage out there when it comes to movies and books as well. Bad story telling doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the medium it's presented in.
You should relax and don't let the insecure rage blind you, Jeff isn't attacking your hobby.
1) He didn't say the best video game stories. The stories that make the best games are dumb action movie plots. Like Terminator 2, Bad Boys 2, The Matrix or Die Hard.
2) That's not Jeff's idea. He's just saying if Bioshock's story was made into a two hour movie it would probably be an okay summer film.
3) You're right Uncharted made those cutscenes playable. And while they were fun the first time, upon further inspection it's kind of got low danger. There's no real skill to those platforming parts as you hold up and hit X. Kinda like a virtual thrill ride.
Jeff is just being honest and giving his honest opinion.
I know you say you took a lot of film classes and are supposedly giving film a fair shake. But it was a dumb argument that compared game stories to film stories, that of course made a bunch of gamers mad. Just think about the oscar bait films that came out this year. How they treated characters and their arc. Compare those to the handful of games that came out this year. I mean Gone Home and The Last of Us. That's just two.
Jeff wasn't saying games can't be something more, nor is he saying they aren't already. But he was talking about a direct comparison between scripts, plot points and stories beats. Can you honestly say the industry doesn't need a tune-up?