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Are video games more than mindless violence?

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When you think of video games, a first-person shooter might come to mind — something like Call of Duty, Halo or more likely one of the new popular battle royale games like Fortnite. You might not immediately think of a more story-driven game like Life is Strange, What Remains of Edith Finch, or the more well known Last of Us.

There are many games with incredible storylines and dialogue that some people don’t
even realize have stories; they just write them off as gruesome shooter games.

Take Red Dead Redemption. It has the disadvantage of being similar to the notoriously violent game series GTA (which is a reasonable assumption seeing as the game is by the same developer, Rockstar games, and has a similar platform).

Even with this disadvantage, Gamesradar has ranked it as ninth in their article “The 30 Best Video Game Stories Ever.” The game takes you back in time to the beginning of the 20th century in the west. Our protagonist, a retired bandit named John Marston, just wants to settle down into a comforting life with his wife and son but the law catches up to him and he is forced to track down and kill the remaining members of his old posse.

Now I’m not saying that next time you’re desperate for a new series to binge for the week you should insead go drop money that we all know you do not have (we’re all broke
college students) on an expensive game and an even more expensive system, but have you ever thought about watching someone else play it?

If you’re a fan of Fortnite then you most likely know I’m talking about streaming. But that type of streaming is more like a sporting event. Here I’m referring to a form of streaming commonly referred to as “let’s plays.”

This addition of the “let’s player” adds a third layer to gaming. Usually it’s game to player content consumption, but now there is a third person: the spectator. In some cases there is no player, just game to spectator. In those cases it’s usually just cutscenes no gameplay or a “movie” cut of the game with no player to voice their concerns about a situation.

Next time you’re looking for something to hold you over until the new season comes out of that show you desperately love because of its loveable characters and great settings, maybe scoot over to Youtube or Twitch and give 30 minutes to any of the titles I’ve mentioned. If none of those sound interesting here are some personal favorites:

1) What Remains of Edith Finch. It’s an almost coming of age story about how people deal with death and tragedy.
2) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Although it is the final in a three-part series about a
monster hunter more formally known as a witcher, Geralt is in search for his ward Ciri (I’m really dumbing it down). it’s number four on the top game list from Gamesradar I referred to
earlier.
3) Top on my list and number three in Gamesradar’s “The 30 Best Video Game Stories Ever” is the Bioshock trilogy. Our protagonist is in a plane crash somewhere over the mid-Atlantic set in the 60’s. That’s all I need to say. One should really go blind into this series.

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