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Friends List: Are mechanics or storytelling more important in games?

I'm conflicted: On the one hand I love Call of Duty multiplayer. The sheer gaminess of it sunk its hooks into me long ago. But I also happen to be a huge fan of smart, narratively driven games.

Call of Duty presents this struggle of gameplay versus storytelling as a dichotomy of sorts: There is a wall between the single-player, narratively driven experience and the game's endlessly replayable multiplayer.

But that's not always the case. Plenty of game developers strive to marry the two with differing degrees of success. Just last week, BioShock's Ken Levine talked about a thought experiment he's been tinkering with, an idea that he believes will help make games endlessly replayable not through multiplayer matches, but through narrative using something he calls narrative Legos.

If this is your first episode, Friends List is a daily web series in which members of Polygon's editorial staff answer an important, unusual or agitating question related to video games. The goal is to give Polygon's many team members across the globe an opportunity to speak with you directly via video.

Today, I'm joined by senior reporter Colin Campbell to answer this question: Are mechanics or storytelling more important in games? The episode will begin at 2:35 p.m. ET and will be available via YouTube following the recording.

Share your opinion in the comments. We'll field some questions at the end of the episode.

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