Dark Vs Light has been used in literature throughout history and gaming has not been immune to its influence. The contrast of light and dark referencing good and evil is something we’re all familiar with.
Light’s victory over the dark is one of the most well-known tropes, from Narnia to Middle Earth to the heart of Tamriel. Light more often than not comes out on top. In games like Skyrim the Dragonborn defeats Alduin and in Wolfenstein Terror-Billy kills the Nazis. But why?
Good triumphing over evil, light over dark makes us happy. Humans love it when the books we read or games we play reassures us. In in this case its the reassurance that good comes out on top.
However, being real people and not gaming tropes we know that the world operates less in black and white and more in shades of grey. As a result some of my favourite games are the most ambiguous. They are less clear-cut, I mean lets face it was there any doubt that you would defeat Alduin the world eater or any other villan you’ve come up against and save the world?
But Hellblade, Fallout 4 and Life is Strange to name a few offer a less predictable and far more interesting experience. Games like this challenge gamers into making strange and difficult decisions that don’t often lead to clearly good outcomes.
But what story type do you prefer? Good defeating evil? An anti-hero story or something more ambiguous?