Over at Eurogamer.net, Dan Whitehead tackles a complex issue. One that really doesn’t get enough exposure or thought, because it creates within people an instant knee-jerk reaction. The article Dan wrote, examines “story versus game systems”, and how the two are conceptually (and economically) at odds. It’s not a new argument, but Whitehead examines the idea with respect and honesty. For the sake of argument, he compares The Last of Us to State of Decay, what sets them apart, and why (in his view), the one is the better “game”, for a given value of what game represents.
A note: the simple rebuttal (and dismissal) to what Whitehead examines, is “well, why not just make both types of games, developers can do what they want?”
The answer to that, would be this post by NeoGAF user Opiate, which summarizes it succinctly. Unfortunately, the reality is that the big, triple-A, cinematic spectacle industry, is toxic to all other forms of design, by its nature.