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Warren Spector speaks about the evolution of games at GDC

by: Mike -
More On: GDC 2013
Warren Spector spoke at a panel today about the lessons the video game industry can learn from other media, and how video games can surpass them even more.
Movies started out reflecting theater, while radio also emulated other media, Spector said. Likewise, games have also borrowed.
“No medium survived without changing or going beyond its root,” he said. Spector mentioned Heavy Rain and Telltale’s The Walking Dead to illustrate how games can create interactive film.
“But we can do more.”
Spector said that movies were the medium of the 20th century that changed everything, and games have overtaken film in many areas.
“Viewers aren’t just watching, but engaging in real time,” he said. “Gamers want to be the directors of their own cinematic experience. Games are linear in the ways they treat time and space.”
Spector presented Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope” and Montgomery’s “Lady in the Lake.” Both use techniques that games do as well, with the linearity of “Rope” or the first-person view of “Lady in the Lake.”
Filmmakers figured out what doesn’t work, Spector said. “We need to figure out what doesn’t work [in games].”
Pacing and storytelling in film are much different than those in games, Spector said, and developers need to realize that.
“The illusion is lost if you don’t have 100 things to say that a screenwriter could say just once,” he said.
“Things can be cool if they happen once, but if you do it 100 times, it’s not cool.
“What’s really valuable to us is when we allow players to make magic moments. We are working in a medium that’s about collaborating with our players to create a story.”