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The video game writer is a writer who practices the craft of video game writing. They are part of the design team, during pre-production,[1] and creates the main plot of a video game but can also focus on the dialogue, the character creation and development or the worldbuilding.[2] During the game development process, the design may change and a video game writer can also be asked to fix the eventual narrative issues.[3] It is also referred to as scenario in Japanese video game development.

The importance of the plot can be minimized by some video game designers, for instance Harvey Smith of Arkane Studios claimed that "The world is very important. The characters are very important. The plot? It can be thrown away. Because each gamer will build his own story.".[4]

One issue specific to the medium is that priority is given to interactive play mechanics over narrative[5][6][7] which could lead to Ludonarrative dissonance : a situation when ludic and narrative elements are opposed to each other as Far Cry 2 director, Clint Hocking defined the concept in his blog.[8][9][10]

Also as video games are more recent than other media, video game writing is still a field to be conquered.[11]

There is no specific training to video game writing and some video game writers are also in charge of other game development tasks such as Tim Schafer and Sam Barlow. In video game it is also one area where some women are very famous such as Roberta Williams and Jane Jensen.


See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ How To Become A Video Game Writer, interview with Darby McDevitt, posted on Game industry career guide
  2. ^ The Gamasutra 20: Top Game Writers, by Bonnie Ruberg on Gamasutra
  3. ^ Building a Narrative That’s Explosive, by Chris Suellentrop, published on The New York Times March 19, 2013
  4. ^ (in French)Dans un jeu vidéo, « le joueur s’inventera toujours sa propre histoire » by Corentin Lamy , published 27 december 2016 on Le Monde website
  5. ^ What In The World Do Video Game Writers Do? The Minds Behind Some Of Last Year's Biggest Games Explain., by Phil Owen
  6. ^ Your Game Dialogue Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad published 13 October 2011
  7. ^ for instance the poor-quality of most video games ending : That’s It? Graphics Improve But Video Game Endings Still Come Up Short, by Stephen Totilo
  8. ^ Hocking, Clint, "Ludonarrative Dissonance in Bioshock", 
  9. ^ Makedonski, Brett, Ludonarrative dissonance: The roadblock to realism 
  10. ^ Sawrey, Matt, Ludonarrative Dissonance: we still need to learn from Hocking 
  11. ^ Bad lines by Clint Hocking, published 9 february 2012 on the Edge website