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Christmas 1993 marks the day I became a gamer. I received Myst, which went on to become the second best-selling PC game of all time. From Christmas Day until my return to school after the New Year, I was totally engrossed within the game. The storyline of Myst was entertaining, enriching and was certainly challenging. I fell in love with the game and the virtual worlds within video games from that point forward. Like many of my fellow gamers, we love the storyline within a game and for me, it is a deciding factor upon playing or buying a game.

The video game industry has taken so many turns and twists since I had my first experience within the world of Myst, it’s hard to keep up with the flood of options. Whether your style is a role playing game (RPG), first person shooter (FPS), or a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) your choices are endless. We know games offer all types of entertainment to the gamer, but how much of a role is the storyline of a game actually playing? Do most players want to seek and destroy or do users want a more enriching experience which immerses them into the lore and legend of a game? What about quests? What about character background and development? Does anyone really care? As long as it looks good and plays well, is that enough?

Options abound in the gaming world give designers a multitude of challenges when competing with outside media sources. Keeping a player involved mentally in a video game may take more than just the Tetris type challenges in the past. As video games evolve, so does the gamer. There will always be the gamer that wants to take the shortest route from point A to point B, but there is also the gamer who wants a richer based world. They want the visual rewards as well as the skill rewards. Appealing to all types of players is the goal. Story and Lore are critical in getting the players attention when they try out a new game. Boredom can set in quickly and competition abounds in the video game market.

A more recent trend in video games, such as The Sims popular appeal can be attributed to creating your own experiences within a video game and giving the player a choice in actually authoring the experiences of their characters. Fable, a popular console RPG, gives the player the opportunity to make moral choices which will determine their future experiences within the game. We are seeing gamers becoming more intelligent with wanting to make their own choices in the game. Gamers are becoming more savvy every year and their input and ideas should also be a factor in game creation. Without a basic storyline or a more developed virtual world, keeping the player engrossed in a video game for the long term would be a challenge.

As video gamers, we should expect this experience to enrich all of our senses. Utilizing a storyline that’s rich in lore, character development and visual experiences are basic tenants that keep a player immersed within a game.