BioShock Writer on Industry: 'I Don’t Want to Put up with This Sh*t Anymore'
Susan O'Connor is sick of how the gaming industry treats stories.
Writing for video games isn’t easy – at least, not if you’re in it to tell a truly thoughtful tale. Although narrative in the gaming industry has improved by leaps and bounds since its inception, video games just don’t have the story chops of other forms of entertainment, such as movies and novels. Susan O'Connor, a writer who’s worked on BioShock, Tomb Raider, and Far Cry 2 in the past, understands this fact, and is tired of the way that games are presented.
In a recent Gameological interview, O'Connor acknowledged that game stories can be as simple as "here's a guy. Go shoot him," but that’s not what she’s interested in. It’s likely that the industry will hit its narrative stride at one point in time, yet it’s unlikely that O’Connor will be around when that happens.
"I don’t want to put up with this sh** anymore. I'm grateful for the success I've had, but I’m never going to be able to do work that can come anywhere close to the kind of emotional impact that stories in other media have, at least not in the next five to 10 years," O'Connor said. "I love stories, and I just happened to fall into games. I've learned who I am as a writer, and I think my talents and skills are much better used in other places."
The next generation of consoles is just around the corner, and it’s unknown whether O’Connor will want to write another engaging story when it comes around. For now, she feels like she’s reached the industry’s peak.
"It's been an ongoing dissatisfaction that’s always been there," O'Connor said. "But the more savvy I got--and I've been working on these great projects that are arguably the best ever made--it's like, 'This is the mountaintop, and this still isn't cutting it.'”