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The Unsuspecting Art in Video Games

By Angelo Montes



According to Study.com, Literature is defined as, “a form of art in which the author communicates ideas to readers, who then connect to the story on an individual level.”


Literature is art, meaning that it is not just limited to reading, the complex stories behind books are nothing compared to some stories told in video games, making them a work of art on their own.


There is a stereotype that video games are purely meant for children, but with very little surprise video games are meant for all. Through the many different genres of video games, (Action, First Person Shooters, RPGs, JRPGs, Adventure, etc.) different types of stories can be told, whether it is a straightforward plot or a plot with several different twists and turns.


“Omori” an RPG (role-playing game) released in 2020 developed by OMOCAT, LLC, and MP2 Games, was released as a simple top-down exploration of an imaginary world with friends. At first glance, people would not realize the complexity behind its story. Not many video games tell a tale reflecting mental illness, as well as Omori does.


The story undertakes a dark tone where the main character goes through his stages of grief but since he is but a child, everything he goes through is tainted with color and vibrancy, while his rational fears are represented by terrifying creatures. The story captures the idea of masking the truth behind the consequences of your actions.


(SPOILERS!!!) The setting of the story is constantly changing between the real world and the dream world which symbolizes Sunny’s (Omori’s real-world counterpart) escape from reality. What’s really happening is that Sunny is attempting to cope with the sudden loss of his sister due to an argument which led Sunny to push his sister off the stairs, taking her life completely by mistake. As a child, Sunny did not understand the concept of death whatsoever.


Throughout your playthrough you uncover what really happened, they staged all of Omori’s rational fears as the story of the crime ultimately leading to Sunny and his friend Basil staging the death of the sister as a suicide.


Not many video games dare to trifle into this territory of violence, that have such an emotional impact on its audience. Artists typically take risks when putting a brush onto the canvas, but video game companies take risks when developing a dark and unnerving story.


It’s not just the creators of “Omori” who take risks when creating a storyline, the creators of “Marvel’s Spider-Man” released on September 7, 2018, where Insomniac games strived to make you feel like you were Peter Parker.


IGN’s very own Jonathon Dornbush says, “At its core, Insomniac Games’ new adventure strives to make you feel like Spider-Man.” He continues by mentioning, “A surprisingly deep tale that mines the plights of both Spider-Man and Peter Parker to great emotional success.”

Insomniac’s Spider-Man shows how much detail is put into these stories. For example, at some point, there is a mission where you must go to Peter’s place of work and you help Doctor Octavius create his new prosthetic arms which later, are revealed to be the tentacles of the infamous villain Doc Ock.


Although video games are not the most universally accessible, people have access simply by tuning into streams, where many people specifically play to enjoy the beautiful storytelling games have to offer.


Many would argue that video games have no reason to be considered an art because it is not on a canvas. Many would be able to retaliate by simply stating that “art is subjective.” So many are not aware that literature is a form of art because it is written and not drawn.


Canvas art pales in comparison to the rich storytelling video games have to offer because the players get to live through the experience rather than interpret what it symbolizes.


21 comments

21 Comments


I personally agree strongly. I feel people don't consider what actually goes into the process of developing video games. Video games can have beautiful stories, engaging gameplay, and thoughtful stories that leave impressions on you. I've always loved playing games since I could learn to write, and I think people should at least give a few genres a try (like this one)

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Ariana De la torre
Ariana De la torre
Nov 09, 2023

I personally haven't thought about video games in this way so it really brings a new perspective to me. Art usually is supposed to invoke some kind of feeling within a person, and considering I play some video games, I would say they are an art form. Video games are engaging to players and have a background story that motivates one to continue playing so that they can learn more while either feeling anxious, excitement, fear, sadness, and so much more.

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Raphael
Raphael
Nov 09, 2023

Spider-Man 2 is better than 2018 Spider-Man because of VENOM.

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I agree, the way video games can be portrayed as art is through all the work and effort put in to the creation. The art style, storytelling, game mechanics, and music make some video games more than just a fun thing to do with friends like playing through Super Mario. Video games are almost like a movie that you can play through or a story being told to you that you may participate in. I've never heard of omori but seeing it now makes me want to see it for myself.

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As someone who has played through all of Omori, I’m happy to see it mentioned here in this article. I personally loved the storyline that Omori had because of how emotionally invested it had in the game when (slight spoilers) the player first gets taken back into the real world, and you play as sunny, now walking to the front door because of Kel knocking on it. The story honestly had me crying at some points, and I’m glad it was acknowledged for its immersive story.

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