Video Games, Not Movies, Are The Future Of Storytelling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt Says

The Inception and Batman actor talks about why he believes video games are where the best stories will be told.

11 Comments

According to actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it's going to be video games--not feature films--that will push storytelling forward in new and exciting ways. Appearing on the latest episode of Hot Ones, Gordon-Levitt said he sees more room for growth in storytelling in video games than film.

"The future of storytelling, it's going to be video games," he said. "I don't think it's going to be filmmakers who figure out how to do that. But [video games] feels like kind of the most groundbreaking storytelling. Storytelling that's completely in a whole different realm than anything we've seen before, I don't think it's going to necessarily be the feature film form."

Gordon-Levitt didn't have anything more to share on the subject, and even this response was broken up by the actor trembling due to the heat of the hot wings he was eating.

Gordon-Levitt runs a media company called HitRecord, and he partnered with Ubisoft on Beyond Good & Evil 2 and Watch Dogs Legion to allow people to create custom content for those games.

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gargungulunk

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An old revelation to avid gamers.

But good for him to figure out where he wants his agent to be looking. Dudes done some interesting roles.

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uninspiredcup

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uninspiredcup  Online

That's a bad argument.

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BeachBum

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Books...

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tbird7586

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It’s getting harder and harder for anyone to tell a story movie or game without some type of outrage no matter how much they pander shits gonna just get more and more generic

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Kyrylo

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so basically they don't have any ideas how to milk movies anymore, they decide to capitalise on games and make them poor man's movies. Yeah thanks for that. If you only want to tell story, go make movie. Games are interactive experience and story only a cherry on the top.

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jenovaschilld

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Edited By jenovaschilld

@Kyrylo:I don't know, I think he means how we tell a story, how we place the reader or gamer into the plot, is an evolutionary form of what our species calls the 'story' differently from movies. I remember Phantasy star 3, when our group was taking a break and the characters expressed their fears, worry, and hope among each other, it was scarily real for a game.

5th gen games really expanded what the gamer or reader of the medium felt. FF7, Silent Hill, Metal Gear, Xenogears, pushed new forms of emotions like fear, love, morality, ... that a fine book makes you feel but now you are actively taking its role then say following what is happening to the protagonist. A difference of passive vs interactive.

ICO/ Shadow of the Colossus pulled at primitive emotional strings in story telling, and presented art into story telling that took movies from 2D to 3D spaces. Half Life changed what we thought traditional Acts 1 -3 could even be.

Ill skip on to today with games like Divinity 2, Gone Home, DQ 11, Bioshock, Persona, Red Dead, and so many more that expands what we even think of as a 'movie/ story' pulling the player even further into actual plot expansion. So far I think VR has tons of potential to take it even further.

You have movies trying their best to pull that video game narrative to freshen how it presents a tale. By putting the camera behind the protagonist, Doom, in an attempt to make you feel like you are in the movies.

While Levitt above didn't really go into it, I have heard this same argument since 3rd gen gaming and D&D table top like games. Like a romantic movie is one thing, but a game where you are actively participating in it like a dating sim- which means that the danger or loss is less of us watching the story and cause-ivity. 'Did my choices put 'my' child/love one in danger?..'.

I mean if you are playing only WWE, or COD, or insert bro game here, those are interactive games with barely story. But games like the ones above are stories that use our interactive gameplay to pull us into the story. Like Fatal Frame, where your a young girl fighting off deadly ghosts/demons that she cannot see by taking picture of them through an old camera, all while following these clues to saving her brother. After your 2nd audible scream, (that begins worrying others around you),= you realize you are part of the story now.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

Roll eyes. Both have benefits and weaknesses, as do books. Neither are the future of anything.

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Nabinator

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Edited By Nabinator

Meh, novels still tell stories better, in almost every way.

Video games are great as an interactive medium, but even without the sound or visuals, a good written novel can immerse you in their stories far more successfully. It's a pity people have forgotten that.

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jenovaschilld

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@nabinator: It is more of a passive vs interactive experience now. We all felt the dread, excitement of say LOTR and Frodo. Was scared by Steven Kings novels, or amazed by the worlds in epic tomes. But now the reader or gamer is placed squarely behind the protagonist, where our choices have more weight. Games that give interactive dating sim, time for us to fall in love with a character whois danger is now makes us question, "did MY choices put my child or love in danger".

A good book can describe something scary or horror, but that first time you play Silent Hill where you can only see a narrow path lit by a weak flashlight. Or purposeful game segments like ICO that push boundaries of Art, books, movies and contain interactive scenes that evolve a sense of primitive emotions like protecting that when Yorda jumps for your hand, you feel your stomach into your throat.

Morality choices in games like Metal Gear, LIfe is Stranger, two brothers, Divinity and so many more. Now it is not just us following along with a protagonist ethical descriptions, but actively making the choices.... plots get more interesting. Take Mass Effect 1-3 when a colony you decided to save or person you choose to abandon comes back several hundred hours of later to impact your present story, will raise hairs on your arm.

IT is true that games like FPS, bro games, etc have little story in them- but games like Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky SC contain more written text and dialogue then most novels. https://kotaku.com/the-curse-of-kiseki-how-one-of-japans-biggest-rpgs-bar-1740055631 During the 3rd act when spoiler worthy characters finally came together it was as impact-ful as any novel I have read, all the while your emotional investment was participatory.

I do not think one medium is better then the other, just different and in some ways stronger, ways in which even Shakespeare would be surprised. And this is from someone who has read 30 ish books a years thanks to books-by-mail library access since age 8. Also heavy fanfiction writer- FF, Legacy of Kain, and countless story heavy D&D campaign writer.

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