As we approach the subject of ‘Video Games As Literature’, it becomes evident that the two are not necessarily synonymous. Some games forgo any semblance of story and go straight for the skill-based, easily understood genres such as shoot-em-ups or puzzle games. Others focus on narrative almost to the exclusion of gameplay, such as the current generation of story-driven adventure games.
When an author chooses to tell their story through the medium of a video game, what elements of ‘game’ and video gaming’s genre conventions must they deal with when working in the medium? For example, cinematographers deal with issues of point-of-view, chronology, and multiple media (audio and visual), regardless of what the movie they are making is about. These are issues that always arise with the medium of film, and a movie’s answers to them help define it as a work of art. What, then, must game-makers both artistic and practical wrestle with when producing a video game?