The Death of Story, Part I
by Jonathan Steinhauer
29 Sep 2008
I have noted in the MMO industry (as well as films and, to a lesser extent in fantasy literature) a decline in the quality of storytelling. It seems that designers are generally more eager to make an easy-money sequel rather than create something new that is truly powerful. I suppose the good news is that games seem to pull it off better sequels than movies, yet this doesn’t avoid a stagnation of creativity. The same old thing gets regurgitated again and again.
The importance of story stems from MMOs being the natural offspring of the single player RPGs. True, there are many players that are drawn to the game by other factors such as the head-to-head combat FPSer, the burgeoning diplomat, or the fantasy world mercantilist (not to mention the plethora of scammers and gold farmers trying to make a real world buck). Fundamentally, however, an MMO is an RPG where thousands of stories are being told at once.
When you look at MMO stories, they come in two varieties that exist simultaneously. The first is the global or world story and the second is the personal one (as in the story that each gamer creates for themselves as they play). We’ll spend this article by beginning our look at the global story and continue from there…[read the rest here]