Gaming: A Literary Art

What we all see on the surface of the games we play is an awfully impressive feast for the eyes and ears: the realistic character designs, the quality voice acting that often includes some of Hollywood’s biggest talents, and the high-powered graphics engines that power everything from explosions to car chases and massive aerial combat scenes. What often comes with this, and if often neglected in all the excitement, is the true core of the game: the writing. The words that make the games that we play and, indeed, other fictional tales that don’t require a hard drive, would be seriously diminished if that quality of the writing lacked. As a tribute to the all important act of writing, we have compiled a series of notable quotes from some of the best written games, both old and new, that show that even though explosions and other cacophonies are what the non-gaming public often associates with video games, they truly do have a voice and know what to do with it.

  1. ”Remember: the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

    – Alucard, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

  2. “It’s awful when a person loses their life. What had taken years to put together was destroyed in one moment.”

    – Kara, Illusion of Gaia

  3. “The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.”

    – G-Man, Half-Life 2

  4. "I believe in no God, no invisible man in the sky. But there is something more powerful in each of us, a combination of our efforts, a great chain of industry that unites us. But it is only when we struggle in our own interests that the chain pulls society in the right direction. The chain is too powerful and too mysterious for any government to guide. Any man who tells you differently either has his hand in your pocket or a pistol to your neck."

    – Andrew Ryan, from BioShock

  5. "Most people think time is like a river, that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm."

    – The Prince, from Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time

  6. "Just because soldiers are on the same side right now doesn’t mean they always will be. Having personal feelings about your comrades is one the worst sins you can commit. Politics determine who you face on the battlefield. And politics are a living thing. They change along with the times. Yesterday’s good might be tomorrow’s evil."

    – The Boss, from Metal Gear Solid 3

  7. “Just remember, son, it’s not about muscle. It’s about timing.”

    – Father Torque, from Full Throttle

  8. "Once you’ve come to a decision, follow through with it and give it your all so you have no regrets. However, if you’re undecided and unsure, stay that way, and follow through with you indecision. Being caught in the middle is the worst."

    – Cid Kramer, Final Fantasy 8

  9. "The real thing is never what you think it will be."

    – Max Payne, from Max Payne

    And the best piece of advice for any gamer anywhere is –

  10. "My rule is: if you can pick it up, take it with you, cause you never know when you might need it."

    – Cora Miles from The Dig

This is just a small sampling of the philosophical musings and more common wisdom, if there such a thing, that games have given us over the years and will hopefully continue to give far into the future.

Author: Nick2930

I am a 33 year old librarian, part time writer, all time gamer, and what my cousin refers to as an intellectual badasss. Normally I wouldn't brag, but I like that so much I feel compelled to.