If You Skip Video Game Cutscenes, Why Even Bother Playing Games? (2024)

I have a bone to pick with a lot of gamers. Some of these are my friends, whom I love dearly, but I simply cannot bear to watch them play games. If I see one more loved one telling me they skipped every cutscene in a video game, I might cry.

A few months ago, when I first got my Xbox Series X, my friends had come over for a movie night and we were all sitting in my room, arguing about what we were going to watch. The arguing period tends to take about two hours, so I tossed my friends some controllers and let them play Halo Infinite on co-op multiplayer while we yelled lovingly at each other. “That movie looks like sh*t,” one of us would say, and someone else would say, “You’ve completely misjudged the vibe of the room, pick another genre”. I usually let them tire themselves out before making a suggestion, just to spare myself the exhaustion of outrage.

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This evening, though, I was outraged anyway. As my friends chatted, I found myself watching them skip the opening scenes of the game. I want to make this clear: I have no large affection for the Halo series, and I didn’t play Halo Infinite so I have no opinion on the game’s story. Yet, I couldn’t stop myself from exclaiming. You have to watch the cutscenes, I burst out indignantly, to some emphatic eye rolls. It’s Halo, I was reminded. They don’t want to watch the cutscenes, they want to shoot some grunts and splatter some blue blood. We’re not here for the story.

If You Skip Video Game Cutscenes, Why Even Bother Playing Games? (1)

I think about this all the time. When a friend told me he had no idea what was going on in Diablo 4 because he’d skipped all the cutscenes to get straight to the action, I buried my face in my hands. I get it – some people value gameplay over narrative. But holy sh*t, how do you play games like this? It’s the gaming equivalent of watching an entire show while playing Candy Crush on your phone and then saying you don’t get why people like it.

I already know I’m probably going to get emails and angry tweets about rage-baiting gamers, but I’m trying to hit on something at the core of gamer culture. So many times I and other critics have written about the value of video games as an artistic medium, talked about how stories fit into current societal norms and how subversive narratives matter, especially when they challenge politically conservative perceptions of what a narrative should be and say.

When gamers get angry about the visibility of women and queer characters in their games, or even metaphors for systemic inequality, a common argument is that games should be fun, and inserting “wokeism” into games makes them less fun because they have to actually wrestle with a narrative that defies theirs.

But games aren’t just for fun. The majority of games have some kind of narrative, and every narrative tries to say something. In my experience, the more complex and interesting that narrative is and the more controversial its themes are, the more a game cements itself as a classic. Rejecting those narratives completely by refusing to engage with cutscenes or story at all seems completely ridiculous because you’re not engaging with the artistic medium.

Not every gamer is consciously doing this – some people, like my friends, innocently skip cutscenes because they really do just want to get to the spectacle of it all. But it’s a sh*tty way to play games, and I stand by that. Gameplay is as important to a game as plot, but they have to go hand in hand. If you’re skipping cutscenes, you’re not playing the game as it was meant to be played, and if that’s the case, are you really playing the game at all? Or are you just extracting the parts of it that don’t challenge you, creating a facsimile of the intended experience that requires as little thinking as possible? I think developers deserve better than misguided criticism of their games from players who don’t engage with the medium as it’s meant to be engaged with. I’m just waiting for gamers to come around too.


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  • Triple-A Games
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If You Skip Video Game Cutscenes, Why Even Bother Playing Games? (2024)


Why are cutscenes in games important? ›

In broad gameplay terms, cut-scenes contribute to structure and pacing in story-based single-player games. They typically function as rewards for the player, as markers of progress along the way, and as regular respites from the intensity of action.

Why do people skip stories in games? ›

A wide variety of people do not care about the story; They want to play the game. There are people who play games for fun, not for lore. If you're like me, the lore is interesting, but I don't care about exploring it most of the time, unless it is something I need to know.

What video game has the most cutscenes? ›

1 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots

Metal Gear Solid 4 has an incredible amount of cutscenes, with some even going on for more than 30 minutes before players can even touch their controller. The Metal Gear Solid games are known for their lengthy storytelling, but MGS 4 takes the cutscene cake.

Which games have unskippable cutscenes? ›

Games with Unskippable Cutscenes
  • Kingdom Hearts (Only the original PS2 version. ...
  • Bug Eyes 2.
  • Resident Evil — Code: Veronica.
  • Metroid: Other M.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Most notable with Kaepora Gaebora (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time))
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon/Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
Feb 13, 2023

What was the first game to use cutscenes? ›

The first games to use cutscenes were early However, the first game to actively use the term 'cutscene' was Lucasarts' Maniac Mansion.. The first example of a complete story, with beginning and end, told within a video game is the original Donkey Kong arcade game.

Which is more important gameplay or story? ›

Both Gameplay and Story are important factors but which one has a higher priority? A game with good gameplay and bad story, or a game with good story and bad gameplay? Gameplay is most essential factor in game design because: if the gameplay sucks, there is no incentive to play the story.

Why should you not play video games all day? ›

Video games can be addictive.

If gaming starts to get in the way of work, family, school, or social life, it is a problem. One study on the National Library of Medicine website found high levels of video game play (more than 3 hours daily) correlates with low satisfaction in life and poor social skills.

Why video games are no longer fun? ›

They are no longer innocent simple games to play and complete, because you'd finish the game and move on to another one and the company would lose your business. Instead, gaming companies force you to grind monotonous quests just to get your battle pass rewards so you don't feel like you've wasted your money.

What is it called when you play video games all day? ›

Video game addiction, also called internet gaming disorder, is a condition characterized by severely reduced control over gaming habits, resulting in negative consequences in many aspects of your life, including self-care, relationships, school and work.

What is the number 1 video game ever? ›

The best-selling video game of all time goes to the timeless classic known as Tetris. IGN says 520 million copies of Tetris have been sold, citing data from The Tetris Company.

What is the longest cutscene ever? ›

1. Metal Gear Solid 4 (71 minutes) Holding the Guinness World Record for the longest cutscene in a video game, Metal Gear Solid 4's epilogue clocks in at a whopping 71 minutes. Within 71 minutes, the game director, Hideo Kojima, could easily tie up the entire plot in this game's conclusion.

What are cutscenes in games called? ›

A cutscene or event scene (sometimes in-game cinematic or in-game movie) is a sequence in a video game that is not interactive, interrupting the gameplay.

What games have the most hours of gameplay? ›

The longest video games ever: From least to most hours
  • Arknights (983 hours) ...
  • osu! ...
  • Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms (1173 hours) ...
  • Legends Of IdleOn (1584 hours) ...
  • Midas Gold Plus (1816 hours) ...
  • NGU Idle (2057 hours) ...
  • World of Tanks: Blitz (2274 hours) ...
  • Melvor Idle (3012 hours)
Apr 21, 2024

What is the importance of video game narrative? ›

Good storytelling in video games can evoke powerful emotions in the player, such as fear, excitement, or sadness. It can also help the player form an emotional connection with the game's characters, making the experience more memorable and impactful.

Why do games need scripts? ›

Video game scripts have the important role of immersing players into the game. The game's story and dialogue should be designed by the scriptwriter starting at the pre-production stage. Of course, the creation of the characters and the development of the narrative are done in conjunction with the games developers.

What is a cutscene in a game? ›

philippine news / 2024-05-26T06:33:02+08:00. A cutscene or event scene is a sequence in a video game that is not interactive, interrupting the gameplay. Such scenes are used to show conversations .Cut scenes are a narrative device in which the game pauses play to deliver a short cinematic sequence.

What is the most important aspect of a video game? ›

Storytelling is one of the most important aspects of any game. It can make or break a game, and it's something that players always remember. A good story can make a game more immersive and enjoyable, while a bad story can ruin the experience.

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