Well, I just recently finished playing through a game called Mass Effect, and it got me thinking. Video games are awesome. And not just in a "that was pretty cool" kind of way, but in a spine tinglingly good, amazing storytelling kind of way.
Mass Effect, like Fallout 3 (another game finished recently) had a better story than most films, books, or TV shows I have ever seen. And I think the reason for this is simple. Storytelling can lend itself better to video games than any other medium. In a film, you've got to cram in as much story as you can into two, three hours tops. But a video game can be thirty hours long. A story can be so much richer and more complex when there is more than enough time to tell it.
Although few games have caught on to that, a couple (namely Mass Effect and Fallout 3) certainly have. The stories are so good, and there's character development and plot twists that rival the best Hollywood films. And because you spend so much more time with the characters, it has an even greater effect.
And especially in RPGs like Mass Effect, a lot of what happens in the game is based on the player's choices. Entire story arcs are often affected by what the player chooses to do. Sometimes its simply how other characters will react to what you say, or sometimes its a matter of life and death. In Mass Effect, there's a planet you go to called Virmire. There's a part where two of your teamates are in trouble and you have to choose which one to save. And the one you don't dies! And not just "oh, we'll bring him back to life with a phoenix down," but actually dies for good. I remember how big a deal it was when Aeris died in Finaly Fantasy 7, but in Mass Effect, you have to choose which of your teammates, and you can't save both. That kind of thing can never happen in a film. You just watch what the characters do, so there can only be so much emotional involvement. In a game, you are the main character, and its how you act around the other characters that determines what the story is going to be like. There are a whole lot of other WTF moments that happen on Virmire, as well as at many other times throughout the game but I won't give anything else away.
On top of all that, there's still so much more to come with video games. Books have been around for millenia, and films for a century, but games have only been here for a few decades. They are only in their infancy in comparison.
Basically, my point is, video games get a bad rap for being a waste of time or money, and the people who play them are generally looked down upon by film buffs and book enthusiasts, as if they are a lesser form of entertainment. But they shouldn't be. Don't get me wrong, I love films and TV shows and books too, but video games certainly belong on the upper tiers of entertainment with them. And if you don't think so, then you obviously haven't played Mass Effect or Fallout 3.