Narrative in video games is a topic close to my heart. I want to believe that video games can tell compelling, dramatic stories. Most games that I do declare to have excellent stories, however, end up needing the qualifier “for a video game.”
So I’m constantly looking for ways that narrative and video games intersect, and this project by a British game design student is an excellent example. Robin Burkinshaw is conducting an experiment that turns stories in gaming on its head to explore the stories you make up yourself while playing.
Using the Sims 3, he has created a pair of memorable characters and using his blog to tell their story. The beauty of the Sims is the characters have specific personality traits, dreams and goals and you let them loose to watch how they interact together.
He created a family, Alice and her father, Kev, and made them wander the world of The Sims homeless. Kev is a disparaging asshole lunatic who is constantly putting his daughter down and Alice is a miserable teen with no friends.
The brilliance of Burkinshaw’s project is the stories he weaves on his blog about his two characters. Kev persecutes and insults his daughter with zeal while she’s around. When she is not, he tries to mack on ladies in his wife beater and underwear. Alice is constantly depressed whose friendship goals are thwarted when her targets are repulsed by her desire to sleep in their comfortable beds and take a shower when invited into their homes.
Here’s an excerpt: (more…)