Back when I wrote for Global Games, they (we?) called it "chrome". Yes, it's flashy and shiny and it draws attention. Yes, it's not essential to the game's immediate function. But it also serves a very practical function as well... corrosion resistance. A really good story line will draw players back, even if the graphics aren't top-notch anymore and the music rendering is a generation behind.
Anyway, this all kicks off a story of some kind along the lines of an evil ninja clan unleashing demons upon the Earth and the CIA deciding that one solitary ninja is a much more hopeful prospect than, say, a tactical nuclear strike, but frankly, fuck you if you want a story; here's your story: demons over there, kill they ass!
Some intellectuals struggle with the dichotomy between narrative and interactivity. Game designers are first and foremost creators of enjoyable game environments. They are storytellers only when this secondary activity facilitates the player's intuitive interaction with the game's rules.
— Daniel Cook, "Evolutionary Design".
The year is 2048. In a post apocalyptic galaxy run by giant corporations, you are a cybernetically-enhanced space marine with no memory of his past. Are YOU the chosen one foretold by prophecy? Do YOU have the strength to survive... Tic! Tac! DOOM!!
Don't you hate it when good game designers are convinced that they're good writers, too?
When you call I am not gonna push Select 'cause I'm not gonna answer my Codec
Cause I'm out in the war aiming for a high score and I'm not gonna answer my Codec
"What's everybody going to do when Mists of Pandaria comes out?"
"I'm going to ignore every single quest, lore piece, dungeon, take no time to look around, and rush to 90 as fast as I can. Then I will proceed to stand in the middle of the new hub and complain that there's no content."
"I mean...I did it in Diablo, Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic."
—-'A Conversation from Orgrimmar general chat prior to the release World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria.
"Heh. People do the same thing [Play the Game, Skip the Story] with Animal Crossing, adjusting the system time to game the system. Then they complain that they're bored."
—A Tweet taken from a conversation about this chat.
"Whenever there's a discussion like this in any MMO, it turns out that most people are indeed not reading the mission briefings."
"What I'm saying is that the average player doesn't need all these complicated and tedious dialogues. There should be more action and fewer questions."
— Zacharie, OFF, interestingly, as the game is a complete inversion.
Tycho: "Hold on, goddammit. You're skipping all the dialog."
Gabe: "Who cares?"
Tycho: "I care. I care about what's going on in the story."
Gabe: "Here's what's going on: that guy's got three heads. I'm going to kill him with ice magic."