Grant Us Eyes: The Storytelling Veil of Bloodborne

This post contains some spoilers.

Video games are a frequent hobby of mine but something I talk about very infrequently on this blog, especially over the last couple of years. Nevertheless, every once in a while I play a game that really grabs me with its story. Not simply in how well it tells this story, but the ways the story is integrated with the video game medium itself.

In Bloodborne, developed by From Software, you play as a foreigner who has come to Yharnam, a labyrinthine city of Gothic/Victorian architecture, seeking the miraculous blood healing of their Healing Church to cure an unspecified malady. Your character also seeks something known as “paleblood,” though what this is isn’t explained. Upon signing a contract and receiving a transfusion of strange blood your character becomes a Hunter—people made exceptional by “blood ministration.” When you awaken after the transfusion you are alone at dusk on the night of a hunt, when Hunters and citizens alike take to the streets to hunt the Beasts that plague Yharnam. You have no choice. A Hunter must hunt.

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A Beginner’s Advice: Giving Characters Depth

As a writer, I’m not sure I’ve given one particular thing more thought than character depth. I’m sure all writers think about this, especially other beginners brimming with the drive to create a character who can offer something captivating and unique to the reading audience. While I’m hardly an expert on crafting characters, there are some methods I’ve come up with that can help with the process. Writing, writing, and more writing is of course the best way to practice the craft, but it does help to discuss, and learn what you can from what you read, which is how I arrived at the line of thinking I’m going to share.Read More »

Artful Video Game Storytelling

I don’t get too specific, but this post has Spoilers for 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors

999Zero

Anyone who plays enough video games knows how important storytelling has become for the medium. Though obviously not essential, as many great games have little to no story at all, both the big budget and independent scenes have a plethora of compelling, story-driven games. Video games are unique when it comes to storytelling because they require the direct action, and often skill, of the player to progress. This is unlike other mediums, where you’re never punished for doing a poor job of watching a movie or reading a book. How much you can understand may vary, but you progress regardless.

Over the past few years I’ve become increasingly aware of and fascinated with games that have core story elements that only work in the video game medium. Adaptation would be possible, but something crucial would be lost along the way.Read More »

The Overpowered Problem

Contains Minor Spoilers For One-Punch Man

Saitama

Growing up, I never had a strong affinity for Superman. I hadn’t read any of the comic books, and only had a passing experience with the cartoon, but my father’s dismissal of the character for being “too powerful” and therefore “boring” turned my interest away from him for a long time. Having become much better versed in Superman stories, however, I have turned this around.Read More »

Tell me a Scary Story

This past week, while visiting family, my father asked me an interesting question — which I’m sure was inspired by the Halloween season. He asked me if I thought it might be possible in a place where great human suffering had taken place that something could be imprinted upon that location; something that could be measured by science, but right now is outside of human understanding. Essentially, it was a question of whether or not I see any possible truth to cases of hauntings in the world.Read More »