What could Final Fantasy possibly have to do with cave paintings? At first glance they seem unrelated: myths, folktales, and fairy tales are our earliest forms of storytelling, while narrative video games and tabletop role-playing games are nascent art forms just coming into their own. The very old and the very new may not seem like they have much in common, but under the surface they both answer our species’ deepest desires for stories. Narrative games and the tales of our past are deeply entwined, and games can reap profound benefits from the relationship.
As a trained mythologist and a narrative designer and writer for games, I see firsthand the unique marriage between games and stories. In fact, it’s a union I occupy deeply in my own work.