No, not Lana Del Rey.
Sooner said than done…
Last week, our creative task for The Future of Storytelling, was to discuss the storytelling in our favourite videogame.
And guess what? I don’t have a favourite videogame.
Actually, I have played very few videogames in my life, and none of them with anything like a real narrative structure. Which is rather odd, come to think of it, because I am the one who needs a story in everything she does. Why, I never could play a game of Monopoly without adding a story to it. In my College years, I used to attach stories to every game of pinochle: sometimes it was the Vandean Wars, sometimes the Jacobite Risings, sometimes the Anglo-Boer Wars, but mostly the Revolt in the Desert*. You’ll laugh, but even while playing solitaire on my laptop – a dreadful procrastinating strategy – I tell myself stories to go with it.
My cup of tea…
So, I guess that for me the trouble comes with the mechanics of videogames themselves? My eye-hand coordination isn’t too terrible, usually – but, for some reason, when it comes to moving around with a mouse, a keyboard or a joystick, I suddenly grow ten thumbs and a lot of cottonwool in my brain. It’s not that I never tried, I’m just unbelievably bad at it.
I remember playing I don’t know what fantasy videogame with friends, when I was fifteen or so. My elf was a walking danger, because I would mix up my keys and start shooting arrows with wild abandon at the wrongest moment… After I killed all my team-mates for the fifth time, we went out for icecream, and never played again… Not that I minded too much: when I’m too busy minding my keys to enjoy the story, I bore very, very easily.
And so, I stuck to paper-and-pencil RPG, and the occasional very easy single-player game in which I could click and point, and tell myself stories as I went – because yes: the short and the long of it seems to be that games are all very well, but woe to the game that comes between me and my story.
* I’m told that, as a result, in my College jokers went under the name of vickers for years…