My friend mike over at SoulFarer wrote a great article on how video games are starting to replace novels in terms of narrative storytelling. You can read an EXCERPT below and then check out the rest of the article on his site.
Last night I heard a conference speaker talk about the present and future state of the novel. It was really quite interesting. He suggested that, while novel reading has diminished over the years, the need that used to be filled by the reading of fiction is now, in part, satisfied by other activities.
Like playing video games. That’s right—video games.
He pointed out that video games have evolved to be something more than just explosions and shooting. The more recent and sophisticated games develop lengthy (sometimes 1,000 pages or more) “bibles” that track the ongoing story of the game. Players often get together to discuss the various characters, plot points, variations in interpretation, and so on.
This is a fascinating shift. Reading words on a page is a relatively new phenomenon in human history. Prior to the broad availability of text, people’s imaginations were fueled by pictures and stories told over meals and campfires. Now, it seems, many people (research shows that over half the people in the US play video games 13 hours a week or more) desire the fanciful journeys provided by novels, but also want to participate as a character in the story.
The speaker (much to my relief) didn’t pronounce the demise of the novel. Instead, he suggested that the world of creative fiction is expanding and changing. I’m okay with that…