We're still a long ways from getting book-quality stories in video games, but times are changing.
Games like Heavy Rain and L.A. Noire continue to push the envelope in regards to literature in interactive entertainment. Chris Swain, Associate Research Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Director of the USC Games Institute, believes that gaming will eventually become the place to go for fantastic stories.
As noted by IndustryGamers , Swain contributed to Jeannie Novak's "Game Development Essentials: An Introduction" (3rd Edition) and after acknowledging he'd get "laughed out of the room" by saying games will "become the literature of the 21st century, Swain wrote:
"When thinking about story, I like to draw an analogy between games today and films from the early 20th century. Back in the 1910s, films were silent and black-and-white—and the stories were told almost exclusively using techniques borrowed from theater. Those films really didn’t make much of an emotional connection with people. If you could have told someone back then that film would become the literature of the 20th century, they would have laughed you out of the room. However, film evolved and became transformed through technical (sound, color) and creative breakthroughs (close-ups, flashbacks, camera movement) to become the most influential storytelling medium that we’ve ever known."
He also adds that it's an exciting time to be a game designer, because "there are many technical and creative avenues for breakthroughs, innovation, and original thought." This is a common subject of discussion at PSXE, primarily because we have a readership that appreciates good literature – in both gaming and other venues – but the question remains: do you agree with Swain?