Video Games are inherently more interactive than other forms of media, such as e-books or other forms of digital publications. Geoffrey Rockwell speaks to video games as a media, stating they are some of the most effective “uses of images, animations, and environmental sound to create a fictional world characterized by navigation”. If this isn’t the goal of any universe creator, be it author, painter or whatever. The goal of an publisher is to create an immersive universe. What better way to immerse yourself in a universe than to literally have control of a part of that universe. Specifcally, there is one particular game that I found myself especially immersed in. Horizon Zero Dawn, published by Guerilla Games. You follow a girl through a post-apocalyptic world where robotic creatures are roaming the lands and she must hunt these creatures to survive. From a story perspective, you are immediately introduced to her adoptive father whom immediately the player develops a connection with. The visual aspect of a game, seeing a character and viewing their potential facial expression draws the player in deeper with the character. Specifically in Horizon Zero Dawn, the facial expressions in said game are some of my favorites and look more realistic than most other games I have played.
The main protagonist, Aloy, responding to her adoptive father Rost.
It is an entire other level of personal connection with a character. It’s a little different than simply reading a book where the actions are described and partially rely on the reader imagination to truly view what the author is attempting. Even in more action-packed games, actually participating in a heated conflict can be a far more effective way to tell the story. Another example, while Call of Duty is generally lacking in the specified story department, it does a good shop of telling the player a story of the combat itself. It allows the player to experience something potentially tense. If the player gets a physical reaction, such as tense fingers, sweating, increased heart rate, it means that at some level the game itself has succeeded in getting the player invested. Combining that with characters that the player cares about, this only just amplifies any level of personal investment the player has.
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Rockwell, Geoffrey; MacTavish Andrew. Multimedia. A Companion to Digital Humanities