I mean first, I don’t know how you go from calling a game “murky and underexplained” in one comment to a “clear hero’s journey,” which makes me think you’re either trolling or cherrypicking whatever stretched interpretation supports the point you’re trying to make. Neither is particularly convincing when you’re trying to judge a narrative work’s successfulness.
I went back to reread the article to make sure I didn’t misread it the first time, but, uh, no? You could take a really, really big leap and argue that the mystery box idea and the way Dark Souls plays with ambiguity are responses to similar movements in their media — i.e., eras where TV/film and games were both extremely overt in their storytelling and emphasized clarity for mass appeal at the expense of ambiguity and depth — but that’s not at all what the article is saying, and it’s not the case you’re making either.
Abrams’s whole mystery box concept is about withholding certain essential pieces of information from an audience to engage people in the process of “solving” something that can’t be solved. Meanwhile, all of the information you need to understand what’s happening in a Souls game is already in the game. It’s just in item descriptions, in environmental details, or locked in sidequests that you might not find. It is all there. You pretending that it’s not does not make it so. It’s just put in unconventional places.
Like c’mon, are you really going to say that Dark Souls III isn’t being pretty damn clear about the cycles of ruin its world is going through when the Untended Graves exist? How can you encounter a carbon copy of the game’s starting area — just without any sun, or sky, or light, and with a past, uncorrupted version of the game’s starter boss — and not realize “oh, maybe this game is trying to show that all this shit I’m going through has happened before”?
Anyway, you seem to, essentially, be saying that because you either like to ignore or just can’t engage with the specific ways in which these games construct narrative (sidequests, NPC interactions, item descriptions, etc.) in favor of their good hacky-slashy gameplay, everyone who actually does pay attention to those things and sees some deeper meaning is in fact a poser.
And that just seems sad, because to be true it requires the literal millions of players who play these games, watch these videos, build these wikis and write about these games to have been caught in some shared delusion of grandeur that you alone are smart enough to have avoided. Hence, Holden Caulfield.
…but also, as a coda.
You’re referencing a tweet by an actor who plays bit parts in TV shows and hosts an actual play podcast. Literally a tweet. A tweet that got roasted to hell and back by everyone who writes about video games. If this is all some roundabout way of saying “game journos bad,” you can hopefully do better than that.