The games I run and play in aren't stories. When we play, we make this gigantic tangled mass of narrative. There's too much stuff in them to be a story. We make stories out of them, by taking a particular point of view, and highlighting some bits of the mass as important, and sidelining other things.
When you take a point of view to get a slice of the game, you get a story -- protagonists, antagonists, and supporting characters emerge. However, you can slice a game in multiple ways, and get multiple stories. And in each slice, who the protagonists are is different. All from the same play session.
My sense is that this is one of the most amazing aesthetic features of rpg play. A movie like Rashomon is cutting-edge stuff because Kurosawa had to invest a huge amount of brilliance to make a movie that could present multiple perspectives on the "same" event -- but when we game we do this automatically, with not the slightest hint of effort.
IMO, that's where the real artistic potential of rpgs lies: in those places where we can do better than other narrative arts.
stolen from blackmanxy.
And that's one of the things I love about gaming - the fact that we're not creating a story, but one happens through us anyway.