SIGGRAPH 07: Famed comic guru talks through the challenges of producing stories in the age of computer graphics

Scott McCloud: storytellers have only ‘scratched the surface’ of games

Famed comic book writer and analyst Scott McCloud predicted in his keynote at SIGGRAPH today that storytelling in games is set for a further evolution.

Saying that storytellers "have only just begun to scratch the surface of gaming", he discussed at length the place comics and the art of telling stories visually have in a world of changing technologies.

Part of his talk looked at boundary testing, wherein mediums such as comics tend to explode and flourish commercially around one key element – i.e. the superhero device – and and industry defines itself by those standards until someone challenges it with a disruptive or new idea. In comics, his key example was the likes of Art Spiegelman’s Maus comic.

But key to any kind of storytelling success in any medium, he said, was that those making the story understood and cared about that medium – an interesting approach when so many games developers hire writers from other media (including comics) to write scripts for interactive experiences.

"If I hear of a of someone making a movie of a comic I want the people making the movie to focus on making the best movie – screw the comic," explained McCloud.

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