PAX Prime had a panel dubbed “Does Story Matter in Video Games”. This panel consisted of Mike Laidlaw, Richard Dansky, Gary White and Robert Ferrigno.
I was shocked to hear that the majority of the panel said no to the question, does story matter in games? At least two were in the yes category. Even with the majority saying no, I did enjoy the banter at this panel during Pax Prime. While story is important in video games this panel did not believe that it matters unless the game is purely story driven. Take a tower defense game for example. This type of game does not require a story for people to enjoy it. However a simple puzzle game like Portal where you create portals to move on, does have a story.
Personally I believe that story does matter in games. Take Forza. A game clearly without a story. You race cars, plain and simple. However you can create your own story to coincide with the game. Say you’re a broke individual who races cars to fed their family. For some gamers this makes playing a simple racing game that much better.
Then you have your Dragon Age. Mass Effect. Final Fantasy. Even Call of Duty has a story. These stories bring out emotions within the player that you cannot find in a non-story game. Story in a game allows the player to connect, to relate. Even if the story was created by a writing team of or a story that the player came up with.
Quick example, after watching Wolf Among Us being played at PAX Prime, my opinion about story and video games became even stronger. TellTale is spectacular at creating a story and allowing you to bend the road that your adventure will take.
I say that story does matter. What say you? Is a story needed in the games that you play?