Spielberg, storyteller

Looks like EA has signed Spielberg to a three-game deal. I have mixed feelings about this, because on the one hand, I respect Spielberg as a storyteller, and I think that if EA is putting money where its mouth is, then they're probably really, really serious about making games with compelling, emotionally engaging story. Let's not forget that Spielberg directed A.I.. While many people disliked the film itself, keep in mind that that's what the Beast was all about. Spielberg is one of our honorary ancestors.

On the other hand, I can't help but feel that this is a step in the wrong direction. Video games want more and more to be like the movies: mainstream, socially acceptable, blockbuster profits. They're trying to get there by being exactly the same. The problem with that is the same problem with movies just being films of plays (which is how cinema started out, mind you). It's not taking advantage of the unique advantages of the media. So the harder the games industry strives to be just like Hollywood when we grow up, the longer it's going to take us to find out what it is we're actually good at.

Anyway, I'm ambivalent. Spielberg has a long history as an innovator in cinema; maybe he can be an innovator in gaming, too. I guess we'll be finding out!

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