The Evolution Of Video Game Storytelling

May 08, 2023 ByClaire Miles

Video games have come a long way since their inception in the 1970s. While early video games were primarily focused on gameplay, in recent years, there has been a significant shift towards more immersive and story-driven experiences. One of the earliest forms of video game storytelling was through text-based adventure games. These games, which were popular in the 1970s and 1980s, consisted of a series of text prompts that the player would use to interact with the game world and progress through the story.

As technology advanced, video game developers began to experiment with more visual forms of storytelling. This included the use of cutscenes, which are pre-rendered or in-game sequences that are used to advance the story or provide background information. Another significant development in video game storytelling was the emergence of open-world games. Open-world games, which first became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, are games that allow players to explore a large, open-game world and interact with non-playable characters (NPCs) in order to advance the story. These games often offer a high degree of player choice and allow players to approach the story in their own way.

Father and daughter holding a game controller, playing video games. Enjoying family time together.

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In recent years, we have seen the emergence of more cinematic and narrative-driven games. These games often feature high-quality voice acting, motion capture, and detailed cutscenes, and are designed to provide a more immersive and cinematic experience. Some examples of these types of games include the Uncharted series, The Last of Us, and the Witcher series. One of the most significant developments in video game storytelling has been the use of player choice. In many modern games, players are given the ability to make decisions that will affect the story and outcome of the game. This can include choosing dialogue options, making moral choices, or deciding which quests to pursue. The use of player choice allows for a more personalized and engaging story experience, as players are able to shape the story in a way that is meaningful to them.