Most serialized TV shows are the same way. Right now we're in the era of the long meandering story. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is telling one massive tale that wanders a little from its overall point with each individual movie. Game Of Thrones deviates from the plot all the time to show tits and bush before course-correcting to the plot about siblings f**king each other. When a story broadens its scope beyond a single two-hour movie or one 300-page book, narrative focus is the first thing thrown out. Video games weren't the first medium to embrace meandering plots, but they have the most fun with it.
When I Was A Kid
I stuck to a video game's narrative so much you'd think games actually told compelling stories. Side quests were shunned and collectables gathered dust while I gleefully raced passed the developer's suggestion that I waste my time with the 800 McGuffins they've sprinkled throughout the world to pad length, which is like saying you got a penis enlargement when all you did was tape a kielbasa to the tip of your dick. It wasn't out of video game snobbery; I just didn't care about anything else but the always-s**tty story. No book or movie character stopped the flow of their narrative dead in its tracks so they could check an air vent for a glowing star. Speaking of which, f**k the stars in Super Mario 64 .
As An Adult
I couldn't tell you the plot of the Elder Scrolls games, any of the Saints Rows, or even one entry in the Grand Theft Auto series. I've grown so empathetic of the effort game creators put into the creation of their worlds that not getting lost in the details is an insult to their artistry. In doing so, I lose grip on the main quest's plot threads. As I write this, I've put 55 hours into Breath Of The Wild. The inciting incident (the part of a story that gets the narrative ball rolling) happened 50 hours ago. I haven't a f**king clue what it was, meaning I haven't a f**king clue what this game is about. Is it another Ganon thing? I don't remember, is he a person or a giant pig monster this time?
Alright, Nintendo. You win. I never would have guessed Smoke Pig.
Open-world games hand ultimate control of narrative flow over to the player. So this is entirely my fault. Some of the dozen people I know playing at the same time as me bought the game days after I did and have already beaten the game or are close to it. The game's story has more meaning and relevance to them. They're hitting the plot points one after another, not letting the story's emotion dangle for too long. Meanwhile, as the world is ending, I used a leaf to blow apples through two rocks I set up as goal posts.
Hyrule is f**ked.
Didn't you read? Luis is currently shooting arrows up a cows ass. In the meantime, you can find him on Twitter, Tumblr, and on Facebook.
For more check out 5 Dark Things You Learn About Yourself Playing Fallout 4 and 5 Awful Things You Learn About Yourself Playing Dishonored.
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