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The Evolution of Game Story... and What It'll Look Like in 2065


Back in the day, telling a story with quarter-inch pixels was hell. You could just barely communicate that the object on screen was a person. The most basic narrative distinctions -- like whether he happened to be a he or a she, or if he or she was smiling or crying... all that had to wait for a future time. Sure, swinging through a jungle with squeaks and beeps was story-like in a way, but not as dramatic as saving the damsel in distress.

Today's interactive platforms and enabling technologies empower new forms of communication that are only limited by the imagination. A few years ago we would have said the only limits were imagination and budget. But opportunities for interactive storytellers correlate inversely and exponentially to budget roadblocks. And budget roadblocks are being stripped away like mad. There is a strong link between risk and creativity. The lower the cost of creative exploration, the lower the risk, and the more that creativity can bloom. The explosion in casual, mobile and online platforms makes opportunities for narrative exploration and narrative creativity explosively more abundant, and diverse. We can now even create games in which the world (the real world) is the playing field. And that is just the start.

Today, once again, the garage shop can rule with the software tools and publishing models that enfranchise a good idea -- and those ideas can emerge, now more than ever, from the musings of the interactive writer.

In the future, the blend of story and game will penetrate not just the then-existent platforms but integrate with other entertainment forms and lifestyles. The human condition is to seek change and quest for different types of fun. This will always reward those driven to evolve something new. Let's embrace the future of game narrative and the reinvention of fun. Great things await you there.

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