How Will I Change the World? – Matthew Fezenko

Changing the world is no easy task. Anyone who would have such crazy goals set for themselves needs an iron will and an insatiable thirst for success to get there. In fact, changing the world is such an achievement that people are given awards for it. Now I don’t need a fancy medal to prove that I did such a thing. All I need are the wandering minds of those out there who want a story to be told to them. I’m going to tell them a story, but there’s a bit more to how I want to.

Let me explain where all this is coming from. I want to become a game designer. People in that field design games, obviously. But a game designer can create more than just engaging gameplay elements. They can write stories that tie in with the gameplay. They can create characters, scenarios, and ideas that they can easily convey to someone through the art of video games. I’ve been the creative type my entire life. I’m an artist, a writer, and I have a lot of stories and ideas chronicled in the library that is my head. I want to turn these ideas into a reality (or a virtual reality, I guess) and show them to the world.

But what makes a video game a better median for storytelling instead of a movie or book?

This is no simple question, but I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to show you that games are just as great, if not better, for telling stories. Firstly, let me introduce to you an important asset I’ll call “player engagement.” Player engagement is when a player has to engage in actively thinking and interacting with the game that they’re playing in order to progress. Player engagement has many forms, and it’s most often just considered the ‘game’ part of a video game. But in other times it’s a metaphorical weapon against boredom and disconnection between the player and the story. By having the player do things relative to the story in the game, they form a connection with it. For example, if two characters are fighting in the story, player engagement could form as the player taking control of one of the characters to battle the other. This makes the player an active participant in the story, while also being in the shoes of the character. This can lead to them forming a connection between themselves and the character, as well as seeing the struggles and conflicts of the character as their own.

Now that you know how games are such a great storytelling platform, let me explain why and how I’ll go about changing the world.

Though I aspire to entertain more than anything, stories have to have an underlying theme or moral. These themes vary in complexity, but I think the simple ones are the better of the bunch. After all, would you rather teach someone a specific moral they may use once in their life, or would you rather teach them a more versatile moral they can use more often than not? It’s not tough to discern which answer is better in this case.

Changing the world by teaching others useful life lessons through video games definitely sounds like a good plan, right? Too bad it’s easier said than done. Which is why for the rest of my life I’ll be dedicating myself to this. Designing the gameplay, writing the stories, conjuring up whatever ideas I can and seeing what comes to fruition. And when I finally have a game that gets out there in the world, I’ll be looking to see the changes.

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