A truly original book hasn’t been written in years.
Originally there were three basic plots, all based on the sort of conflict found in the story. Man vs. man, man vs. nature, and man vs. self. As time passed and writers started to explore storytelling they found that not only were there more types of conflict, but also that they could write a story with no conflict at all. So then there were seven basic plots: overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy, and rebirth. It can be hard to do anything that nobody has done before, especially in a medium that has been around for so long like fiction has.
Video games are young by comparison. Invented within the last fifty years, and really gaining momentum within the last two decades or so, there is much more space for artists to explore. New genres still pop up and sometimes catch on — Dota and League of Legends are the easiest examples of this to point out. A new genre that has caught on like wildfire and spread through the gaming world. Its mixture of team based gameplay, RPG elements, and the fact that they are high intensity and exciting to watch has captured the interest of a huge population of gamers. With both games garnering huge followings, prize pools, and events, they seem to be truly taking video games into a mainstream realm. These games, however, are not original by any means. Dota was a mod of WarCraft III, and therefore the control scheme and point of view are entirely based on that. The way the game progresses is essentially an RPG played in fast-forward. The team aspect is the new element that has drawn in the masses.
Hearthstone is another game that has recently gained a lot of popularity, but it’s one of the oldest genres around. TCGs are one of the oldest games in the modern era. Magic: the Gathering, released in 1993 by Richard Garfield, set the stage, and in the time since has become a powerhouse of a game. Wizards of the Coast has a huge market around the world; other card games come and go, but M:tG is still around. Hearthstone was simply the first video game that took collectible card games and succeeded at thrusting them into the eyes of the masses on a huge scale. Anything Blizzard makes is going to catch a huge amount of attention nowadays, and Hearthstone has taken an enjoyable but often complicated genre and made it accessible and convenient.
VR and AR is a realm where we might finally see some huge innovation. While it is certain that these new tools will allow developers to try some brand new things, they will also be used simply to enhance current genres. Things like shooters, racers, and adventure games have obvious enhancements with this new medium of gaming. The neat thing to think about is what other people are going to come up with, and how these new tools can be used to move the medium forward into an age of new and interesting things for us to play.
Creativity is hard. Never mind coming up with new characters and game mechanics and storylines and balance and still making the game fun but to come up with something truly revolutionary is once in a lifetime. Painters who start a new phase are regarded as geniuses and are admired until the end of time, their paintings will sell for millions until the end of time, they will be stolen, fought over, and hoarded by future generations. The question is: once video games become as highly regarded as paintings and books, which games will we look back on and truly cherish?
Tyler Morse is a Contributing Editor to aybonline.com.