On Storytelling: Age-Old Ideas and Criticism

What does it mean for a theme to be “played out”? When is a game’s story boring because it’s just rehashing a theme we’re all familiar with? In this essay I explore two radically different stories – Aeschylus’s Oresteia and The Last of Us Part II – to talk about the theme of revenge, and some problems of media criticism.

On Storytelling: Online Games and the Holding Pattern

With the latest Destiny 2 expansion, this seemed like a good time to step back and look at some issues relating to storytelling in online games. When a game is designed around players continually repeating content endlessly, how does that impact the narrative that players are told?

On Storytelling: Meta Gaming

When you play a game, you’re always controlling a character. You know that, but how often does any player really think about that fact? In what ways could a story remind a player of that fact? In this essay I explore how video game narratives can incorporate a player’s interactions in a form of meta-storytelling that can go beyond the constraints of mere plot.

On Storytelling: Conspiracies

Conspiracies are a fairly common tool to come across in stories. They help build a sense of intrigue and drama in otherwise cut and dry narratives. But conspiracies as a tool for writing are subject to a lot of problems that we normally don’t think about. In this essay I explore how conspiracies work as a way to examine good and bad practices for using conspiracies in storytelling.