David Cage Says Video Game Narratives Are Still Inferior to Films

David Cage believes that "video games are the most fascinating medium mankind has ever created" but currently considers them inferior to films in terms of narrative and characterization.

David Cage, head of developer Quantic Dream along with writer and director of Omikron: The Nomad SoulIndigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain, and Beyond: Two Souls, has become well known for the cinematic style of his games. Those three titles rely heavily on cutscenes while also giving the player choices that change the story. In an interview with Play Magazine, Cage said that he wants to tell stories with a "3D script that includes time, space and interactivity" instead of a "2D script, like a film, which just moves through time and space."

Cage has been praised for his writing, winning the BAFTA Games Award for Story and being called a "genius" and one of the best writers in gaming by Warren Spector, co-creator of Deus Ex, System Shock, and ThiefIn the interview with Play, Cage stated his belief that "[b]y far, video games are the most fascinating medium mankind has ever created" but "we have nothing in games that gets anywhere near to a good film in terms of narrative and characterization."  

David Cage's Games Imitate Films By Using Motion-Captured Actors 

Image from beyond.wikia.com

David Cage also spoke out against the game industry's "restrictive idea of interactivity" that revolves around "performing physical actions, like shooting or jumping, in loops." Many have argued that David Cage's titles are more film than video game because of their reliance on quick-time events and context sensitive button prompts to make up most of the gameplay. 

In response to this Cage says:

My characters don't carry guns or shoot every person they meet. They lead normal lives and do mundane things. They have emotions and relationships. This, to me, is what interactivity is about--creating real empathy between a player and their character. But games are a conservative industry. It's hard to convince hardcore players to accept these new kinds of interactivity.

David Cage's Heavy Reliance On Button Prompts Has Annoyed Many Gamers

Image from destructoid.com

David Cage believes that video games have "the power to make you think in ways that books and films have not achieved" and that we "currently use them as a toy, but they have the potential to be meaningful." Still, Cage believes that games won't reach their potential within his lifetime because the games industry isn't receptive to "different creative directions."

Featured Contributor

Published May. 22nd 2014
  • WesleyG
    It's frustrating to see Cage continuing to make games when he clearly hates the medium so much. Every interview with the guy can usually be summed up as "God I wish my current project was a movie." If only he'd let go of this idol worship of storytelling in film I think he can make some stellar games.

    It would also help if his plots made any damn sense. That might be the reason no one's exactly excited to make a movie out of a David Cage script.

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