Video Games in literature
Better on screen or paper?
When it comes to creativity and a good story, it can go one of two ways, words on paper or played out on screen. But what if it was produced on both? Some prefer one over the other, but why? This article will tell you about what I think are the pros and cons of having games as books as well as on screen.
Having the video games written in literature format can allow us to delve inside the background if the character that the game itself decides to leave out. For example in the Resident Evil series we are left in the dark on how the Redfield siblings became who they are before Raccoon City and also what happened to rookie officer Leon Kennedy after the zombie outbreak. The novels written by S.D Perry provides us with that information. It is said that the Redfield Siblings lost both their parents when they were very young, leading to one of them needing therapy. Perry also gives us information that both Leon and Claire endured on another mission with other Resident Evil characters at Caliban Cove before going their separate ways.
Another example would be the Assassin's Creed series written by Oliver Bowden. These books follow the game quite closely but a few of them do give you another perspective on the character's life. In the book Assassin's Creed: Desert Oath, it tells you the story of Bayek of Siwa on how he grew up and his childhood before the game, which is something we don't see, another one is Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade, not only does this game give you the story of Altair , but also his life after the game, which is only seen briefly in the games.
Another pro of having video games on books is that it provides entertainment value to the franchise. Meaning that a part of the game that was only small can be written with a lot more detail in the books , this can link back to the background of the characters, stated above. Doing this will allow the readers to enjoy the book more, but this can also be a downside as something that is small in the book can be bigger in the game itself. Many gaming companies are releasing multiplayer games with little to know story, so in order to get a story , many gamers/ writers will go ahead and provide the story themselves, which is good news as the readers can get something that the game never provided.
The cheaper option
Finally and simply...books are more affordable. For those that prefer to read, you can at least four books for the price of one game. The average price for a game is around £35 plus the price of the console/PC, while the average price of a book is about £9. Although the effort that goes into creating the game is reflected in the price and book can sometimes offer more in terms of story and using one's imagination. Like I stated before, the majority of the books follow the game anyway so you are technically still getting the full story.
Further developing the point of the author including a better detailed background of the characters, the downside could be that the author may provide information that the game writers don't agree with the statement and say something else;therefore leading to confusion for the reader and player. For example, S.D Perry wrote a storyline stating Claire and Leon went on to do another mission together, but in the games it is said that Claire immediately went to France while Leon was taken in by the government.
The biggest point of the cons is that many do find video games to be a lot more enjoyable. I, myself am a fan of both book and game but I admit I would rather pick up the controller rather than a book. There are many reasons for this:
1. You get to explore the world more and enjoy the environment, especially in open world games such as Assassin's Creed. Books have a fixed storyline while with open world you can find alternative endings, missions and characters that are otherwise forgotten.
2. The use of audio in the game can help bring the atmosphere, environment and story together. In Dead Space the use of fast paced and ominous music creates tension and nerves , while in the books you can not really get the feeling for it as all you hear is silence when reading or maybe passing traffic.
3. We can see the emotion and hear the tone of voice of the characters. Instead of being told what the character is feeling or doing, we can see it for ourselves and do it ourselves now thanks to Virtual Reality. Seeing this happen we can bond with the characters and see how their personalities adapt and develop.
What do you think?
This article has put forward both pros and cons of books being based off video games, but what do you think is better? Books? or Games? the choice is yours. As long as you enjoy yourself, there is no right answer.