JJ Abrams and Gabe Newell on Storytelling

Abrams and Newell

On Wednesday, JJ Abrams and Gabe Newell sat down for a session at the 2013 DICE summit where they discussed the strengths and weaknesses of games and movies as storytelling mediums. Polygon has a liveblog of the chat, and it’s definitely worth reading to get a sense of their alternating points. Newell argued for the value of player agency, of letting gamers be “architects of their own amusement”, whereas Abrams argued in favor of film’s “machinery” of storytelling, which allows for narrative control. They played clips from games and movies, and each made some excellent, thoughtful arguments.

Their discussion of the different forms of storytelling was especially exciting because they ended by announcing that Abrams and Valve are planning on collaborating on a game as well as possible Portal or Half-Life movies. If it’s even possible to make a decent movie out of a game, I think JJ Abrams could be the guy to do it. However, of the two properties, I think Half-Life is a bit better suited to the movie treatment, simply because there are more characters and settings to work with. Of course, Gordon Freeman would definitely end up talking in a movie version, and that might ruin some of his carefully cultivated mystique…

How about you? Do you find the prospect of a Portal or Half-Life movie exciting? Will you be curious to see what kind of game Abrams might make with Valve? How much would your head explode if a Half-Life movie came out before Episode 3? Let us know in the comments.

Source – Polygon

Scott Pilgrim Brings The Retro Gaming Easter Eggs

As some of you may be aware, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is set to come out in theaters tomorrow. For those of you who have not seen the preview, I urge you to google it right the hell now. If you like video games, you will, at the very least, be amused by the trailer.

The movie is based on a graphic novel, which contains tons of references to old school games, some so old that I had forgotten about them completely until now. Our good friends at GamesRadar put together a nifty little list of them and I thought it might be fun to share it with you guys.

Personally, the River City Ransom “BARF” and the coins dropping are my favorites. I’ve always had a soft spot for that game, ever since I first read about it in Nintendo Power back in the 80s. What references did you think were cool? Are you planning on seeing the movie?

BARF! I mean, GO!

Source: GamesRadar