Clive Thomson wonders if there is an Anti-Carsian conspiracy theory in the games industry…
"In my more cynical moments, I think this whole pursuit of narrative is
the industry’s sneaky way of forcing gamers to buy more products. When
a game has a story that "ends" after 40 hours of play, you have to
throw it awayâand go spend another $50 on the next title. That’s
movie-industry logic, not game logic. Chess doesn’t "end." Neither do
hockey, bridge, football, Go, playing with dolls, or even Tetris.
Worse, by selling "narratives," game publishers can cover up the fact
that they rarely create truly new forms of play. In any given year,
I’ll play a dozen first-person shooters with different storiesâSave the
world from Martian devils! Penetrate an island full of genetic freaks!â
that are all, at heart, exactly the same game."