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A game is a language

A few days ago I said to a student “a game is, after all, a language to deliver a story”. He objected: “Not all games have a story!”. The student was right, but his objection is due to the semantic context of the term “story”.

A story can be a component of a game, generally expressed through its contents. By interacting with the game mechanics, players create a narrative. There are many games without a story, but the sequence of actions and events always creates a narrative. That piece you were waiting for finally appears and saves your game of Tetris. You were losing, now you have been saved by fate. If someone told the story of your match, this event would be part of it.

A story is also the path that brought your game to where it is. Your live game is constantly updated and this creates a story. The core of your player community will know your story through the various updates.

A story can also arrive absolutely asynchronously. A few years ago I discovered what was behind titles like Super Mario and Zelda. The creator of these games brought his personal childhood story to the players.

A story can also be created on other platforms thanks to your game. Some people use whole games, or parts of them, to create entertainment for other people.

Published inGame Design

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