Half Life 2

I just finished the game. It's more than a game, it's also an engrossing story with atmosphere to spare. It's set up like The Matrix, where you are plunged into action with the promise of a lot of explanation coming later.

Plus the graphics are absolutely incredible. Total immersion into a movie. You need a high end PC to run it though. I did an upgrade on a budget -- I bought an ATI 9600 graphics card with a $100 rebate, then a new motherboard with a Sempron 3100+ processor and 512 MB of RAM. Then I transplanted my old drives into the new PC, and used my old monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. Total cost was around $600. The game runs very well on this.

It's a game where you not only are looking forward to the thrill of playing, but also looking forward to finding out what happens next in the story.

They also used some (relatively) big name actors for the character voices -- Robert Guillame, Lous Gosset Jr., Robert Culp.

A lot of games nowadays have budgets as big as movies, and they have hundreds of people working on them, and professionals writing the stories.

This is encouraging.... As our attention span gets shorter and the market for books gets tighter, the market for other avenues for story-writing gets better. I imagine there is more money for authors in bestselling novels, but maybe you could make a living writing for the gaming industry.