Saturday, May 5, 2007

Munchkin Mania & Story VS Gameplay

The New Munchkin Cards!

I refer to the article titled Story Vs. Gameplay, on I agree that games are capable of telling a story, but find that a story in a game is merely secondary in nature to gameplay. This is because I believe that the reason why people play games is that they are looking for a time to have fun, not to enjoy a story. A good example of a game with little or no story is a game called Beatmania, a rhythm action game where the player must press buttons in order to play alongside a piece of music. This game has no story, but its gameplay is so well designed that people all over the world play it for fun. Another example of a game without story is one of the oldest games in the world, chess. Players move pieces across a tiled board in order to defeat an opponent.
Although I believe that story may be secondary to a game, it is a contributing factor to how games are so enjoyable. The story is sometimes meant to enhance the gameplay experience, and to give the player a reason to continue playing the game. A good example is seen in a game called Halo, where players must save the human race from the clutches of an alien race. If the story was not as well told as it was in the game, players would feel unsatisfied with the game, despite its brilliant first person shooter design. However, if the gameplay was stale, people would care little about the story. Thus, story is an element incorporated in gameplay, but cannot exist on its own in a game. An example of a game with too much story is the Xenosaga series. Most review sites such as Gamespot and IGN have complained that the game series tends to focus too much on story. For example, there may be times where there is half an hour of cinematic cutscenes, but only 15 minutes of gameplay at a time.

Overall, I believe that games are what they are: games. However, it cannot hurt a game to have a small, but meaningful, story.

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