Re: Rate this 'article': Video Game Maps (i)
It sure help to have a map when the story itself doesn't make it clear where places are located relative to one another, so in this respect, maps do add a useful dimension to storytelling. Especially in fantasy fiction, where the world exists only for the story, so you wouldn't be able to find a map anywhere else (maybe that's not true today, but it must've been when The Hobbit first came out).
I believe maps are an important part of gameplay and are a necessity for games that want to take place in worlds that aspire to be more than just a maze for Pac-Man to run around in. In this respect, maps are unavoidable.
Even so, I would never have guessed that maps would inspire a deep discussion like this, so I'd be interested to know what you have to say on the subject.