See, you thought the game portion of the Mass Effect series is that part where you run around and shoot synthetics or warp Cerberus soldiers in their balls, or the part where you fly from planet to planet launching your penetrative active scans in search of... I dunno, weird alien Bibles and lost Turian fleets. WRONG.
The game does what I like games to do in terms of storytelling: it lets me assemble the story of my own telling. I don't mind a game that has its own story to tell, but the games to which I really respond are the ones that give me all the pieces and let me put them together according to my own style of play.
Time to speak out with my geek out. Writer-types, here's your homework: go forth and play a roleplaying game. Playing a pen-and-paper table-top RPG is not going to make you a better writer. It goes deeper than that. It's going to make you a better storyteller.
So by now, you may have heard the news: I am writing a SPIRIT OF THE CENTURY novel for Evil Hat games. The first begins with -- DINOCALYPSE NOW! All I'm saying is: Psychic dinosaurs. 1935. Get your head around that. And once you have your head around it, I've some questions to ask you...
So, the wife and I finished Portal 2. Single-player, at least. You wanna know one of the things I really love about both the first Portal game and its largely-superior -- which is saying a lot - sequel? It's that they leave a great deal to the imagination.
I believe that games -- from the smallest "casual" game to the hardest of the purportedly "hardcore" -- are powerful and compelling to us as players because from the experience of playing games we gain narrative, and from that narrative we gain... well, all kinds of things, really. We gain perspective. We gain entertainment.