Before I start, let me just say that I have come to the same conclusion as Keith that games are absolutely horrible ways to tell stories. Games hurt stories and stories hurt games. With that said, there is an exception; light story elements that are directly tied to gameplay can actually be beneficial to a game. (By the way, I'll be using the colloquial definition of game) Now, this is actually a little misleading. What I actually believe is that theme can help contextualize and explain game mechanisms— something pretty much everyone agrees on. The thing is that if you take a game that's actually a series of puzzles for the player to solve in a set order, adding a theme to attach all of these puzzles would naturally create a narrative. It just happens, and it doesn't harm gameplay, it serves it. It's a byproduct of theming linear gameplay. The problem with storytelling in games specifically occurs when we add story elements that aren't directly tied to gameplay because we want to tell an interesting story. At that point we have a story that's being restrained by gameplay and/or a game that's being trivialized by storytelling. As far as I can tell, stories should only ever exist in a game as a result of adding theme to puzzles (or as a backstory to an endlessly replayable game, but that's a little different). Games aren't good at telling stories, but stories are good at contextualizing certain types of games as long as the story stays subservient to the game. For an example of a story done right in a game, play Shadow of the Colossus or, to a lesser extent, Portal. Both have stories that exist only to serve the gameplay. They explain what it is you are doing when you solve their puzzles, why you are doing that, and what happens when you are done doing that. There aren't unnecessary plot points or characters that are completely untouched by gameplay and the story that is there gives a certain meaning to the puzzles you're solving and nothing else. The stories are, for the most part, just a result of adding theme to the sets of puzzles. In reality, this was all the result of me trying to explain why Shadow of the Colossus and Portal don't feel like they're being dragged down by their stories if I believe that stories hurt games. This was how I settled that dissonance.