VOTD: J.J. Abrams Discusses Storytelling With Valve Co-Founder Gabe Newell

When filmmaker J.J. Abrams appeared on stage a week ago with Gabe Newell of Valve Software, the two dropped a bomb: their companies will work together on several potential projects, one of which could be a video game, and which may also include films based on Valve game series Portal and Half-Life.

Their announcement of potential collaborative projects came right at the end of a talk that ranged through storytelling concepts as developed in film and games. Now you can watch the DICE event, Storytelling Across Platforms: Who Benefits Most, The Audience or the Player? complete with the film and game clips originally found in the presentation, in its entirety.

(The talk is slightly unsafe for work due to language.)

That development announcement is great, but there's a lot in this conversation worth paying attention t0. The comparison of ways that film and games deal with narrative devices is one that most of you have probably had on your own, but this one concisely pinpoints certain tendencies and quirks of narratives as they take shape in the two media.

To me, there's something promising in seeing the two discuss these storytelling ideas before going on to tease new projects — I can't be the only one hoping that a collaboration between Bad Robot and Valve will seek to bridge the two media in a way that really addresses what some have deemed an un-bridgable gap between film and games.