A Brief History of the Evolution of Storytelling in Video games
We live in the golden age of video games today. There are games available on the PC, home consoles like the PS4 Pro, the Nintendo Switch, and the Xbox One, as well as our mobile phones that are never more than an arm’s length away. While there are still plenty of simple stories used for video games, such as what you will find with Candy Crush, other games have developed into legitimately good storytelling avenues. It was not always like this.
The Early Days
Before you could use your gaming controller to have interactive conversations with players, there were elementary games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man. There were no real stories told in those early days. Instead, the games were a fun distraction for people. Even games like Pitfall did not have much in the way of a story. It was pixels running across a screen and swinging over alligator invested water. However, there were attempts at story, such as the arcade game Dragon’s Lair released in 1983. It was imperfect, and it was beyond what home consoles were capable of at the time.
A Slow Evolution
Through the remainder of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, the games evolved at a regular pace that kept up with the technology for the most part. The Legend of Zelda is just one good example of how developers were using technology to deliver exciting stories even early on. The stories continued to advance and grow more complex and mature over the years.
The Modern Age
However, things changed with the release of a game called The Last of Us. Thanks to the technology for facial capture, the acting skills of Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker, and the emotional story, it helped to bring storytelling to a brand new level. Other companies have been providing more and more story-driven games over the years, as well.