Hm. I really expected that thought to go a bit further.
I was reading on another blog about The Secret World, which I played a bit before Cataclysm came out but didn’t end up staying for a second month. This blogger talked about how awesome the story and the characters are, and I totally agree. I really enjoyed the ambience and feel of the world in TSW, and being reminded of how awesome it was makes me want to go back and play it again.
But I know better than this. It’s far from the first time I’ve had a nostalgic craving like that; to go back and experience a video game’s world and ambience and characters again. Sometimes I attempt to indulge those cravings by booting up the old game; but with very few exceptions [Chrono Trigger still holds up amazingly well today] I would get as far as the first lengthy gameplay sequence, get bored and switch it off again.
To me it comes back to that all-too-common disconnect between story and game. I like the story; but the game itself has become just an annoying obstacle to experiencing that story. My question becomes: why does this story need a game attached to it? We have plenty of media capable of telling stories, putting one in a game waters down the impact at best. Putting one on a sub-par game is just a complete waste of time and creativity.
To be honest I think the average video game player these days appreciates the concept of video games more than the actual product. They’re attracted to the hype and spectacle of blockbuster games, play through each level once to view the cutscene at the end, until they reach a part they can’t beat on the first few tries and lose interest. You know, the kind of player who gets excited when control of their avatar is yanked away, because it means something cool is about to happen and they get a short reprieve from actually having to play the game.
Basically, I tend to think that kind of player who demands an awesome story from their video game is the one who didn’t really care about the game that much to begin with.