Fallout 4 is an action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks (Bethesda Website). The Fallout Series takes place in an alternate universe where the Cold War eventually became “hot” and the world quickly sprung into a large-scale, nuclear war. This war brought about the worst and destroyed life as we know it, killing off pretty much any and everyone and for those life-forms fortunate enough to survive faced severe mutations. Animals, bugs, vegetation, and of course, humans all endured harsh mutations caused by the nuclear radiation. However, many Americans found themselves safe from the explosions residing in underground homes called “Vaults“. These vaults were buried deep underground to keep the residents safe from the dangerous amounts of radiation festering in the wasteland above ground. These vaults were not as safe as we are lead to believe as numerous social experiments took place in these underground havens such as torturing, self mutilation, and testing the boundaries of insanity.
In Fallout 4 we are met with post-apocalyptic Boston, Massachusetts in the year 2287 and is frequently addressed as the “Commonwealth“. Here, we meet the Sole Survivor, the main character of our story as we (the players) bare witness to his/her significant other be murdered point blank and our child taken away. Being cryogenically frozen you are able to fight back and when you are thawed and awaken in the vault, you find yourself to be the only one alive, hence the name Sole Survivor. (the name of the playable character is determined by the player but the story follows as the main character being addressed as “the Sole Survivor”). As the player leaves the vault they find themselves on the hunt for their son and traverse the wastes and face great perils on the way to uncovering the mystery of what become of your son.
That being said, I would be very quick to issue authorship to the writer of the story. the author of the main story I feel would be the most deserving but in this case, I feel as though that is not appropriate given the immense visuals, the music and game sounds that really make the game stand out, and gameplay that stands as unique and smooth. I know I may sound bias but in my honest opinion, the story stands to be one of the smallest features in a game that features so, so much. To narrow things down I feel it is appropriate to define the word “authorship”. According to Google, authorship is “the state or fact of being the writer of a book, article, or document or the creator of a work of art.” The key thing to notice here is “the creator of a work of art”. Fallout 4 is absolutely a piece of art but this art did not spawn off of one person, one developer, one designer, but from a collective effort pout forth by a great number of people helping out to produce the final product of what we have today. Howard Becker notes that “the forms of cooperation may be ephemeral, but often become more or less routine, producing patterns of collective activity we can call an art world” resulting that working together as a developer help create an art world or in this case a video game.” From the early beginnings, to the implications of game mechanics, to marketing the game, and finally to production, the collective efforts from Bethesda is how Fallout 4 came to be. That being said, I feel it is MOST appropriate to give this authorship to the collective efforts of Bethesda Game Studios as a whole.