I play games to play - to feel involved - but too often games seem to be confused about what they're for, throwing in things for you to read, or watch, like an insecure chef preparing a soup, which she serves with a hamburger in case her customers don't like soup. Or, rather, a chef who pads out her soup with cornflour and sawdust to make it go further.
Admittedly, the definition of what a game is can be far broader than cinema or literature, but I wonder if that's simply because games are still fumbling around for what they are. Or are ignoring what they are because they're in denial about it, wracked with shame and guilt and feelings of worthlessness.
I've always resented action games which fumble for profundity by bolting cinema or literature onto their carapace. Role-playing games are the most obvious culprit, deepening the history or lore of their worlds with extensive journal entries, or text from old books, or runes, or written on the back of potatoes.
Presumably you can blame Lord of the Rings for these misguided attempts at densification. Frankly, I've never had much time for it, and you only need to look at the Zelda games to know how you can give a game world a sense of history through gameplay and art design.
The same has been infecting action games in recent years, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has finally pushed me over the edge. I'm done.
If you ask me, games got it right from day one, pretty much - Space Invaders, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Atari's Adventure (arguably the forebear of The Witcher, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and others) had faith in their core gameplay without a need to invite other mediums to the party.
Since then, games have slowly crept away from that purity of design, quite literally "over-egging" their "puddings".
It seems to display a lack of faith in the imaginations of the player, as if the developers responsible feel the need to over-explain everything. Imagine if the original Star Wars had been shown in the cinema with a series of annotations flashing up on the screen, explaining the plot of the prequels, or everyone's backstory.
I always read the journals - I try to sit through cut-scenes - but I can't think of a single instance where a dropped diary, or text entry on a computer terminal, has done anything other than bore me. They've never had any impact whatsoever on the gameplay part of the game. They're a distraction, and frequently tedious.
I know there are those who argue that they're a way of deepening the experience, and that they're optional. But what if they're not? There's always that fear that you might miss out on something important. I'm always disappointed.
Speaking as somebody who writes scripts for a living, exposition is anathema to storytelling. You show - don't tell. And most games fail to realise that. On the occasions when exposition is unavoidable, the best way around it is to at least make it entertaining. In my CBBC show 4 O'Clock Club we usually cut to a song when it's time for an info-dump, or to reveal a character's inner workings.
I'm not arguing that games should do the same - that is, have musical sequences (although... thinking about it... I'd prefer that to the tired text journal approach) - but there should be enough latent information in the world itself, through the characters, your actions, the items you find, the places you visit, that you can tell its story without reams of text, or unskippable, unenjoyable, ten minute-long cut-scenes.
Of course, this doesn't apply to all games.
Some need their text - it's either central to, or part of, the gameplay. But it's when action games seem to lack confidence in their existence as games that it makes my spine prickle.
I wonder if it comes down to that general sense of misguided snobbishness that the wider world has towards games. That they're for children - so developers strap on "grown up" mediums such as cinema and literature.
Which is absurd, because lest we forget that cinema is home to Pudsey the Dog: The Movie, while the shelves of Waterstones are filled with books ghost-written by YouTubers.
Unfortunately, I have always found the approach jarring, and it is becoming increasingly so for me as time goes on, as games become more complex and polished. True maturity is knowing when you can just be yourself, and stop pretending to be something you're not.
Outside of Nintendo, indie games are - as always - often where games as a storytelling medium come into their own. Her Story, 80 Days, Firewatch, and Thomas Was Alone, have more affecting story than most triple AAA games, by using restraint, and economy. By remaining focused.
Aside from a few exceptions - Bioshock, Portal, Half-Life 2 - it doesn't feel like mainstream games are there yet. That's a shame - because the day every game like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided lets its core gameplay stand without all the po-faced padding, and heavy-handed exposition, is the day that we'll finally be able to say that games have grown up. That they're their own medium, which can stand beside, but remain distinct from, all other forms of storytelling.
That's when gaming will finally be able to realise its potential, and stop being held back by its need to feel accepted by society.