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The Hobbit Director Del Toro On Games' 'Story Engine' Future

Guillermo del Toro, acclaimed geek-centric director of the upcoming Hobbit movie and Pan’s Labyrinth, says the “earthshaking Citizen Kane of games” is yet to come -- and that he wants to try making it.
While many in the games industry are weary of hearing prognostications of the “Citizen Kane of games”, noted film director and certified geek Guillermo del Toro has thrown in his two cents regarding gaming’s own tipping point. Asked by Wired how interactive, nonlinear storytelling forms can possibly rise above the “geek ghetto”, del Toro answered, "Go back a couple of decades to the birth of the graphic novel—I think we can pinpoint the big bang to Will Eisner's A Contract With God." "Today, we have very worthy people doing literary comics. I think the same thing will happen on the Internet-gaming side. In the next 10 years, there will be an earthshaking Citizen Kane of games.” del Toro, director of the upcoming Hobbit movie and past films such as Hellboy, and the Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth, has dipped his toes into game creation in the past. He worked with Konami on Hellboy: Science of Evil. He’s also a known avid gamer who admires games such as Shadow of the Colossus and Grand Theft Auto. In his limited experience in the games industry, he has seen its faults. “Unfortunately, I've found in my videogame experience that the big companies are just as conservative as the [movie] studios." "I was disappointed with the first Hellboy game. I'm very impressed with the sandbox of Grand Theft Auto. You can get lost in that world. But we're using it just to shoot people and run over old ladies. We could be doing so much more.” del Toro had further projections for the games industry and entertainment as a whole, a future that will see the public taking an active role in the way stories are told: "In the next 10 years, we're going to see all the forms of entertainment—film, television, video, games, and print—melding into a single-platform ‘story engine.’ The Model T of this new platform is the PS3." "The moment you connect creative output with a public story engine, a narrative can continue over a period of months or years. It's going to rewrite the rules of fiction." Finally, it also appears that games are something that del Toro wants to explore in more detail, since he says of his 'Citizen Kane of games' comment: "I'll be trying to make it. But I won't be trying until after The Hobbit."

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