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The irony of loving story without retaining much memory of it

DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,207
edited July 2016 in The Pub at MMORPG.COM
Am I the only one like this?

The poll about reading quests or not made me think about this.

I absolutely love immersing myself in the story of a great game - but I tend to forget 99% of it only hours or a few days after playing. Even with games that are dear to my heart BECAUSE of the story - like Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite - I only really remember the core plot and some bits and pieces. The rest just leaves my mind almost immediately.

Personally, I think it's because of the amount of games I've played in my life. I've been a gamer for 33 years now - and I've played, literally, thousands of games. So, there's no way I'd be able to remember the full story of each one.

For MMO quests, it's even worse. I mean, I love the Duskwood quests in WoW - for instance - but I actually don't remember much in way of detail. I know there's this... guy that something bad happened to, and it involved his wife or whatever. But that's about it. All I remember is that I loved reading about it :)

Before someone asks: No, I don't have a general memory problem. Most would say I have a very good memory, and I have an unusually ability to retain names and words of all kinds - and I instantly recognise faces almost no matter how insignificant they might have been.

Do you guys manage to remember most or all of the stories you enjoy?

Comments

  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade Member EpicPosts: 4,726
    Depends on how recent it is. I generally remember the highlights of the story, but many of the details are lost to the sands of time. The Duskwood storyline on WoW was pretty great indeed, one of the most memorable on that game. Of the original content anyway, I'm sure there are a few others now too. xD

    On SWTOR for example I could give a general outline of how each of the class stories go per chapter, but the fine details I won't recall until I'm actually playing through it.

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

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  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Depends on how recent it is. I generally remember the highlights of the story, but many of the details are lost to the sands of time. The Duskwood storyline on WoW was pretty great indeed, one of the most memorable on that game. Of the original content anyway, I'm sure there are a few others now too. xD

    On SWTOR for example I could give a general outline of how each of the class stories go per chapter, but the fine details I won't recall until I'm actually playing through it.

    Vanilla Duskwood was great.  I loved the started zones for the dwarf/gnome and undead/cows as well.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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  • LokeroLokero Member RarePosts: 1,514
    edited July 2016
    I generally remember the important stuff.  Though, I will certainly forget most irrelevant things like fetch-quest garbage and lesser things.  I guess it depends on the game and how well-written the story is, also.  If the story is total garbage then I'm probably less likely to care enough to remember it.

    If you had replaced "story" with "music" in the title, then you would have gotten me :pleased:

    I see people talking about the music they loved from games all the time, and I honestly struggle to remember any music from games.  I may enjoy some of the music in games, but I certainly don't remember it later.
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,207
    Lokero said:
    I generally remember the important stuff.  Though, I will certainly forget most irrelevant things like fetch-quest garbage and lesser things.  I guess it depends on the game and how well-written the story is, also.  If the story is total garbage then I'm probably less likely to care enough to remember it.

    If you had replaced "story" with "music" in the title, then you would have gotten me :pleased:

    I see people talking about the music they loved from games all the time, and I honestly struggle to remember any music from games.  I may enjoy some of the music in games, but I certainly don't remember it later.
    Hehe, I'm definitely one of those music guys :)
  • EluwienEluwien Member UncommonPosts: 196
    I've read several thousands of books. I own few hundred. I dont remember any of them if I sit here at the comp and try remember them, but if I go to my bookshelf [literally goes] and stare any of the David Eddings backs [comes back] I can remember what his book had in it, who were the characters and what happenned to the Sapphire and that little girl who turned out to be a god.

    I dont know remember every D&D book, but [literally goes] when I stare that one with Raistlin sitting leaning on his staff, [comes back] I recall the tree house where it all started and the forest he had to walk through to get to the university.

    I dont remember how the quests went in Duskwood, but if I would go there I'd probably remember them without reading and remember what paths I've ran in the past.

    Thing is, it's all about how your memory works.

    In brain, memory is stored and retrieved differently depending on which type it is. Each individual also uses different methods better than others. Such memory of a quest falls under the category of Declarative memory under which all skills (semantic memories) and stories (episodic memories) are grouped. A quest would be under episodic memories - sub group (time, place, who, what when where how why - type of things) and would require a conscious decision to be recalled. This type of memory is stored in such way that it requires a reference, you need to know how to access at least one of the stored memory tidbits, (time place who what how when where why) and the rest will come (or be created around it). If you know which one of these you're good at remembering, you can store memories better by realizing that you want to remember that particular moment, and repeating in your mind that type of information you know you're good at storing, later you'll have very easy time returning to that episodic memory by accessing that type of reference link.

    I personally suck at remember how long ago a thing took place, or even when it was in the months or even what time of the day it was. But I'm pretty good at remember how things looked, so if I want to remember something I stare at it, pick a peculiar point and concentrate few seconds to store that bit, then I can almost always return to that place and story by being reminded with that peculiar reference. Such as book covers, or screenshots can bring me the whole story behind them. Quests though, as individual aren't usually very visual. I can remember almost every Vista in GW2, but only those stories from WoW where I actually spent time imagining them in my mind (like reading a book) and making the conscious effort of remembering that story, like the Molten Core quest line. 


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  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,207
    Eluwien said:
    I've read several thousands of books. I own few hundred. I dont remember any of them if I sit here at the comp and try remember them, but if I go to my bookshelf [literally goes] and stare any of the David Eddings backs [comes back] I can remember what his book had in it, who were the characters and what happenned to the Sapphire and that little girl who turned out to be a god.

    I dont know remember every D&D book, but [literally goes] when I stare that one with Raistlin sitting leaning on his staff, [comes back] I recall the tree house where it all started and the forest he had to walk through to get to the university.

    I dont remember how the quests went in Duskwood, but if I would go there I'd probably remember them without reading and remember what paths I've ran in the past.

    Thing is, it's all about how your memory works.

    In brain, memory is stored and retrieved differently depending on which type it is. Each individual also uses different methods better than others. Such memory of a quest falls under the category of Declarative memory under which all skills (semantic memories) and stories (episodic memories) are grouped. A quest would be under episodic memories - sub group (time, place, who, what when where how why - type of things) and would require a conscious decision to be recalled. This type of memory is stored in such way that it requires a reference, you need to know how to access at least one of the stored memory tidbits, (time place who what how when where why) and the rest will come (or be created around it). If you know which one of these you're good at remembering, you can store memories better by realizing that you want to remember that particular moment, and repeating in your mind that type of information you know you're good at storing, later you'll have very easy time returning to that episodic memory by accessing that type of reference link.

    I personally suck at remember how long ago a thing took place, or even when it was in the months or even what time of the day it was. But I'm pretty good at remember how things looked, so if I want to remember something I stare at it, pick a peculiar point and concentrate few seconds to store that bit, then I can almost always return to that place and story by being reminded with that peculiar reference. Such as book covers, or screenshots can bring me the whole story behind them. Quests though, as individual aren't usually very visual. I can remember almost every Vista in GW2, but only those stories from WoW where I actually spent time imagining them in my mind (like reading a book) and making the conscious effort of remembering that story, like the Molten Core quest line. 


    Interesting response, thanks :)

    Is it all just personal opinion - or do you have an actual source for this theory?
  • sacredfoolsacredfool Member UncommonPosts: 847
    I am currently enjoying the story (though not the quests) in Elder Scrolls Online.

    They manage to tell a decent story despite their horrible generic quests. 


    Originally posted by nethaniah

    Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.


  • GorweGorwe Member EpicPosts: 6,191
    I am currently enjoying the story (though not the quests) in Elder Scrolls Online.

    They manage to tell a decent story despite their horrible generic quests. 
    Man those quests are horrible. Not only that but ultra seriousness with which they present themselves only to arrive in the quest zone and see a dozen people killing the same guy.../grumble

    I'd take SWTOR instances any day in week over this crap.

    As for the OP, yes I do remember and tis a curse let me tell you that. I often have great trouble with replaying games because I remember story(example: NWN2-you are awoken by your adoptive father Daeghun who is an olive skinned elf iirc then the Duergar attack the village, you go into the swamp, fight the lizardmen, find a...shard{I think} and decide to o to Neverwinter. While on the voyage there you stop at a tavern that is also attacked by Duergar and then you meet your first companion{actually earlier when he was having a rough with a bunch of people} Khelgar the dwarf. Next stop is that port town whose name escapes me where the Jerro / King of Shadows story truly begins...etc etc. Would you believe that I haven't played NWN2 in like 5+ years?)

    It is a curse as much as a blessing to be sue.
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade Member EpicPosts: 4,726
    Gorwe said:
    I am currently enjoying the story (though not the quests) in Elder Scrolls Online.

    They manage to tell a decent story despite their horrible generic quests. 
    Man those quests are horrible. Not only that but ultra seriousness with which they present themselves only to arrive in the quest zone and see a dozen people killing the same guy.../grumble

    I'd take SWTOR instances any day in week over this crap.

    I love ESO's world instancing, how it changes around you... but FFS, why couldn't they have added some personal instances too for the big decisions?! >.<

    I absolutely detested all the people running back and forth while your character's supposedly making a tough decision.

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

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  • AberiusAberius Member UncommonPosts: 37
    DKLond said:
    Eluwien said:
    snip

    Interesting response, thanks :)

    Is it all just personal opinion - or do you have an actual source for this theory?
    As someone with a few publications of my own on research in teaching and learning, I can back this up :3  Pointing at a single source would be very difficult since we're talking about decades of accumulated knowledge, but the book "How People Learn" by Bransford and Brown is a good introduction/overview if you want to learn more.

    And to OP - thanks for validating my exact personal experience with quests in MMOs.  I am fully immersed in the experience of the quest, less concerned with forming memories about its content.  Interestingly though I tend to remember the plot details and sequences of single player games better.
  • somersaultsamsomersaultsam Member UncommonPosts: 230
    There are very few games stories I remember; Life is Strange springs to mind, but that is more of an interactive story. 

    The problem I have with games stories is the following (many of which are necessary for the medium): 


    • A single plot arc, without any sub-plots or nuances. The plot tends to take a fairly tight route from A to B, and any background information or world-building is shoe-horned in with tedious expository dialogue, rather than seamlessly built into the tone and theme of the story.  
    • The main character is a literal audience surrogate. I mean there are a lot of audience surrogates in fiction, almost every bland character you have ever read is one as they allow the audience to superimpose themselves over said character, just look at Harry Potter (bland), Bella Swan (bland), even Dr Watson who narrates Sherlock Holmes (bland). But in a computer game the main character literally has no characterisation as it is the audience. 
    • Motivations are usually black and white and characters are usual one dimensional. Almost all motivations are boiled down to good vs evil (on one level or another) and almost all bad guys are the personification of villainy with no realistic or grounded human traits. 

    As such I tend to find most computer game plots generic and instantly forgettable. 
     
  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 3,942
    I can remember a ton of player drama and events from UO.  Hell the wars from the last day of beta testing were epic.

    Themepark era is a big blur of collecting paws off dead animals lol.
  • GladDogGladDog Member RarePosts: 982
    I guess I buck the trend, but not because I have superhuman recollection skills.  Actually I do, if it involves numbers, but that is something else.

    My thing is that if I enjoy something I see or read, I watch/read it to death.  I got the Avengers BD and I watched it 10 times in two weeks.  I have whole sections of it memorized.  I bought Starship Troopers in 1977, and I read it at least 15 times.  Even though I have not read it since the 90s, I still remember chunks of it verbatim.

    If I like a questline in a game, every character I have that goes there (& I am an altoholic) will read it thoroughly.  Sometimes my gaming friends get frustrated as I stop to actually read the dialog for my 4th character, but that's just me.

    So my secret is nothing more than simple repetition.  If you read certain quest dialog enough times, you don't forget it.


    The world is going to the dogs, which is just how I planned it!


  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Member EpicPosts: 2,936
    edited July 2016
    I tend to retain a lot of the story elements in each game I play.

    Some additional food for thought:



    I don't agree 100% with the video: I've experienced games where lore matters in great detail, and this becomes an integral part of the story experience (some classic examples: Morrowind, or Marathon).  On the other hand, I feel I have a decent grasp of what makes a story and there have been games where the mechanics literally are the story.  This tends to be more the case in MMORPGs, where you have thousands of players carving out thousands of different paths, potentially.  This is brilliantly brought to light in Neal Stephenson's book Reamde, which is an excellent story about a game.  On the far end of the spectrum would be a game like Chess, which literally has no story other than 'these players got together and played a game in this way' including a beginning, middle, and end.

    Interesting topic, and you're not the first to notice.  For myself, if a game has story elements I find that they tend to stand out as much as in other media such as books or film.
    Post edited by Phaserlight on

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  • EluwienEluwien Member UncommonPosts: 196
    DKLond said:
    Eluwien said:
    ::words::


    Interesting response, thanks :)

    Is it all just personal opinion - or do you have an actual source for this theory?
    I've read 2 books about memory, which discussed broadly how it works, how to create memory castles or roads. They were in Finnish and I dont know if they were ever translated, but I assume any language has their own. Human memory is stored in different ways for different kind of memories and thus recalled differently for different types, pretty easy to read a wiki about the basics and google stuff about memory practice.

    I read the books basically because a mate wanted to learn how to memorize the order of deck of cards, and told later how simply learning how memory itself works changed how he perceives events and stores memories of everything. It's been a cool thing to learn, as now I can consciously decide "this moment I will now remember", give it a few seconds to make sure I put up when it was (which I'm bad at), who were there, how did it feel, what was good in it. Now I can f.ex. always return to the moment we got married with my wife, and I can recreate very vividly the three key memories I wanted to store from that day. I also use this at work, when I need to learn a new skill / software, pretty neat, cuts the learning time to fraction of what it would otherwise be. 

    I'm not a specialist by any degree, but there is a bunch of science behind memory practice, and I personally believe everyone should be taught about it as it so greatly increases your self awareness and understanding how your mind works. Also it gets you through schools with a breeze 

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    DAoC - 00-06 - And every now and then
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    EVE - Online since 07 - and still on, and on, and on..
    WHO - Online 08-10
    LOTR-O - Online 06-08
    Also played : Asherons Call, EverQuest, EQ2, Dungeons & Dragons, Cabal, Dark & Light, GW, 
    GW2, LA2, Ryzom, Shaiya, SWG, Allods, Forsaken World, ArcheAge, Secret World, Darkfall, Rift, ESO, Tera.

  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,207
    I'm lucky in that I have a pretty decent memory, so I can remember to stories and quests in a lot of games.

    My problem is that I hate stories in games, I find the vast majority of them to be generic, bland and badly written. I find it tedious to read / listen to. So, with most games I attempt to get immersed in the story but after a while I just give up and start skipping everything I can. There are a few exceptions. 

    LotRO - Only MMO where I've followed all the story. Part of this is because there were no quest markers at launch, so you had to read every single quest otherwise you wouldn't know where to go and what to do. However, during Moria xpac the quality dropped off, then they added quest markers so I just started skipping everything. 

    Final Fantasy 7+9 - Both these games did very well at cutting down the story to the bare minimum. Characters would say 5-10 words per sentence, one or two sentences at a time, so the story elements would be very quick. No fluff, no stupid padding, just the bare essentials. 

    Deus Ex - Human Revolution - Admittedly, it took me 3 attempts to get into this game, but once I did I actually followed the story. Was the sort of game where the content was so strictly controlled that you had to be immersed in the story to enjoy it. 
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