Wired recently published an article that highlights Scott Steinberg's video series Game Theory and their recent focus on storytelling in video games and interactive fiction. It's a great video and includes interviews with Richard Garriott (Ultima), Bob Bates (Sherlock, Arthur, TimeQuest), Steve Meretzky (Planetfall, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight) and others.
As the Wired article notes:
The short documentary covers the plots behind a wide range of games, from Zork to BioShock, and also features interviews with writers behind titles like Assassin’s Creed II and Mirror’s Edge. The video explores topics like the conflict between character motives and player desires, the influence of cinema on gaming, and the obstacles that today’s writers must leap while crafting game stories.
“I don’t think we’ve yet mastered the techniques of true interactive storytelling,” Garriott says in the video, pointing to his own Ultima IV as one of the first narrative-focused games. “I mean that not just in dialog [or] cut-scenes, but [really] in how you emotionally become engaged with what’s going on.”
The GameTheory videos and web site are definitely worth checking out!