Storytelling as art

It’s a funny thing, but I wonder just how much people think of the artistry of narrative.

My mood has been brought on by the re-release of Planescape Torment on PC and various tablet devices. For those of you too young to know, Planescape is probably the greatest narrative role playing game ever committed to a digital medium; it has a rich setting, deep and interesting characters, an enthralling plot, and it holds everything secondary to the service of the experience. Gameplay is less important than merely playing the game and finding the stories within stories scattered all over it.

I hold it up as a work of art; the narrative equivalent of a Picasso, or a Dali. It has hidden depths and meanings, and the only way to truly absorb it all is to get lost in it.

I care little for the great works of literature, whose accolades come from highbrow academia. Art demands that we feel something by experiencing it. The masterpieces of narrative are not the perfectly written novels chosen by professors. They’re stories from the heart and in the bone, that grip our minds and lead our dreams.

As artists, we should never ask for perfection. Let us ask instead for soul.


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