My colleague Clara Fernandez-Vara pointed me towards this great game writing talk by Jon Ingold this year at AdventureX, an excellent narrative design conference in London.
(NOTE: This post isn't a transcript of Ingold's talk. It's a summary with my interpretations, and I might be wrong or misunderstanding.)
Ingold begins with something that should be obvious and uncontroversial to everyone: generally, most video game dialogue is poorly written. This isn't to say video games are bad, or that they we shouldn't try to do any dialogue at all. There are also many reasons why game writers are forced to write poorly, whether it's because of lack of resources, or last minute changes in the design, or other production constraints, etc.
The point is not to blame writers. The point is to highlight a problem in the craft and to define a better ideal. So, how can we write more competent game dialogue that is slightly less embarrassing?
To demonstrate the problem of typical video game writing, Ingold shows us this conversation from the first hour of Assassins Creed Odyssey in the starting mission "So It Begins":