The uber story

So this is piggy-backing off of Brandi’s post, but I completely agree with the points that she made.

Like Brandi said, stories have been around since humans have had a need to communicate. Stories were originally created for the purpose of spreading knowledge that has already been obtained by other people. Only later did they evolve into a form of leisure time pleasure.

What I find interesting is that Koster’s whole argument is that “fun is the act of mastering a problem mentally” or, in essence, learning. Now, as academics have come to classify, there are three main types of learning: auditory, kinesthetic and visual. A story that is simply written down on a piece of paper can only serve as a good medium for those that learn via an auditory or visual style, or potentially a combination of the two. Even stories transcribed into plays and dramas can really only play with auditory and visual learning. In contrast, a video game easily conquers all three learning styles in one by providing spoken plot lines and music (auditory), an ability to actually try your hand at a task (kinesthetic) and being able to take in what you’re learning through pictures and movement (visual). So if anything, video games should be considered uber stories as they clearly trump the original.

I also wanted to comment on ¬†Koster’s argument that “games are largely about getting people to see past the variations and look instead at the underlying patterns.” However, I feel that¬†Escape The Bookstore 2 easily challenges this idea. Most games that are classified under an adventure genre would have multiple, similar challenges that lead up to a big boss, like going through the dungeons in Zelda and ending up at Gannondorf. However, in “Escape the Bookstore 2,” there really is no pattern that I can see. There is just incessant clicking that will hopefully lead you to an exit from the room. So would this game still be considered a game in Koster’s eyes?

1 thought on “The uber story

  1. Professor Sample

    It’s interesting you picked Escape the Bookstore 2 to illustrate a potential weak point in Koster’s argument. That game is part of a genre of games called escape the room games, of which there are hundreds and hundreds of examples. So, usually when someone plays the game, they are already familiar with the conventions of the genre. And they might not even think of the game as a game really, but more as a puzzle. And is a puzzle really a game in the way that Koster defines it? We’ll try to address this question in class….

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