Hello again, and today I want to spend time on the subject of video games and how they can be an effective tool for us writers.
If you have played or seen video games, most usually have a story to tell in some way shape or form, such as Mario Brothers. When you first playing the first Mario Brothers, you just have some guy that is wearing a red hat, red suspenders, and a stash under his nose that you are moving across the screen and jumping on enemies and hit blocks to get coins and mushrooms that make you big. In the beginning, you have know idea who this guy is other than to assume that he is Mario, and you don’t find out what his objective is until like level 1-4, after you defeat the evil lizard, King Koopa, nowadays he known as Boswer. Well after killing him you learn that he has kidnapped the princess and your job as Mario is to go through all of the levels to rescue the princess.
There’s the story in a nutshell, and while Mario’s story in the first game is pretty simple, it’s pretty much the same story in most of the games within the Mario universe, except there are few that do tell a different story, such as Dr. Mario.
When the original, Dr. Mario came out, the story was just that Mario is dressed like a doctor and he is throwing pills and you have take the pills and use them to kill of all of the germs that are in the bottle. Seems, simple enough, right? Yup, pretty much. Until, Dr. Mario came out for the Nintendo 64 gaming system, at which point we get to play not only the original mode but then we get story mode.
In story mode, we get the hole story, which is that a virus has come to the Mushroom Kingdom, and Dr. Mario has to save the day by curing all of the citizens, good and bad that received this virus. But along the way, there are obstacles that add to the story, until you come to the end of the story and you find the source of the virus, which I would state what it was, but I don’t fully remember it off of the top of my head.
Granted, not everyone was into Mario, but then came Donkey Kong, who originally did take the princess and Mario had to save her. However, when Donkey Kong Country came out, his princess kidnapping days are far from over, for he has his own quest to tell, and in the first one we have Donkey, and his side-kick, Diddy Kong, out in the world to rescue his beloved hoard of bananas from King K. Rool. Once the game is done, then you come into the second game of the series, where you learn that Diddy Kong is know the focal character and he is teamed with Dixie Kong. The story of this game is that Donkey has been kidnapped by King K. Rool. Then of course, there were others that came down the line for Donkey Kong where he has to save his beloved bananas, or he along with his crew were kidnapped and needed saving.
Granted, there are many video games that have come and gone and each one has a universe and has some story to tell, even if the story is not revealed until further levels. Now, video games have come along way and the ways that games are played are not the same as they once were, and granted the lines between Nintendo and Play Station is also different, its like Nintendo and Sega were also different.
No matter, how you look at it when it comes to story telling, video games do have something to offer, even if it’s not the same as what you get from a book. However, it can’t be ignored that video games are telling stories and there are even awards for being given to games for the storytelling element that is a vital piece of video games.
Storytelling is vital to who we are and what separates us from the other species. Now to take this conversation a step further, I have seen ads being run on Facebook, for teaching Pokemon in the classroom.
I’ve looked at these ads and have investigated it is everything from the element of storytelling, to even using Pokemon in stories. Why? The answer can be looked at two-fold. One, it is something relate able to children, even if they don’t know what the game is, they have seen either children’s books with Pokemon on them, or they have seen the cartoons. Second, it is another tool that teachers can use to teach story and characters to children.
Granted, we can all admit that they aren’t the faerie tales that we were told as children, but it goes into teaching them who to write fan-fiction even if they are not out right saying it. I think that whatever tools that teachers are using to teach children, how to right should be applauded. Yes, it might have been a long time coming, but think back to when you were a child and wanting to write, wouldn’t you have loved it if your teach was using Batman or even Superman as a tool for teaching the art of story telling. As for us girls, it would have been either Hello Kitty or one of the many Disney Princess.
Either way, the media and how it is used to tell story is something to look at, not to be snickered at or dumb down. But we all can learn something from story telling through the art of video games, such as we can through television, movies, or books. Just add one more source into your arsenal, even if you have no desire to play them.
I hope that you have found today’s topic helpful in the course of your writing.
Thank you, again and I hope that you have a great writing day!