Through the development of crosscutting and other continuity editing techniques, many filmmakers (perhaps unwittingly) found “that the development of systematic narration and continuous action could also deliver a sense of shock, of percussive action that is broken and picked up again continually.” (Gunning, 311, 2006) The once disjointed forces, attraction and narrative, came together to function symbiotically in films.
The same cannot yet be said for most video games. Many still suffer the core problem that plagued The Great Train Robbery: attractions and narrative, more often than not, work against each other. Though no such official period exists is the historiography of video games reporting/analysis, the period from 1958 to more or less the present marks the “Games of Attractions” era. To understand why, one must look back at the (not so distant) origins of video games. —Editorial: Video Games and The Great Train Robbery.