I spent this evening watching a fascinating documentary with my son. It was called Indie Game – The Movie. And it was about several independent video game designers, and what they went through to make their games.
They were/are true geniuses, and extraordinary artists.
I don’t play videogames – never have, and I don’t have the time now to learn the language. But the film spoke to me about the shifting shape of story, and the importance of story in our lives.
These videogames, the really smart ones (and yes, believe me there are some incredibly smart and artistic games out there) just open out the mind. Not all video games are violent shoot-em-ups with blood and gore, just like all movies aren’t dumb franchise tentpoles.
There are some amazing independent art films made each year, just like there are some amazing independent videogames.
The capacity to tell stories in different forms has exploded in recent times. The best videogames tell the most touching and profound stories. E-publishing has opened up opportunities for authors who might have been denied a platform in past years – denied by agents and publishers who are now scratching to hold onto their jobs in a quickly shifting landscape.
Journalism too is undergoing fundamental change. Photojournalism too. Bloggers and others are shifting into the place where journalists once reigned supreme.
But we still need quality journalism. We still need the Woodwards and Bernsteins. The Seymour Hershs. (He broke the My Lai massacre, and changed the course of the Vietnam War. He later broke Abu Grhaib.)
Blogs are a new form of storytelling. Twitter is instantaneous communication, but in 140 characters twitterers, (or “twits!”) tell their stories. Facebook and Instagram are a new form of storytelling too. YouTube and Vimeo offer the kind of video storytelling that wasn’t possible ten years ago.
We need stories. We need stories to learn, to grow, to understand, to proselytise, to change the world.
I am proud to say I’m a storyteller.