Should video games be more like TV shows?

The art of play.
Sept. 18 2006 7:46 AM

A Very Special Episode of Half-Life 2

Should video games be more like TV shows?

(Continued from Page 1)

If developers want to win big with episodic gaming, they need to do more than merely dice up pre-existing genres. They need to think episodically from the start. In short, they need to become more like TV producers.

Telltale Games, for one, is trying to do just that. The company focuses on character and narrative, facets of design that are often neglected in games. In October, Telltale will release the "pilot" of Sam & Max, a humorous romp about a dog-and-rabbit detective team adapted from a Saturday morning cartoon. (Six episodes are planned for "Season 1.") If the first two episodes of Telltale's other game, Bone, are any indication, the pilot will play like interactive animation. Bone, a puzzle-solving choose-your-own adventure, is full of puns, veiled references, foreshadowing, and dream sequences—all traditional cinematic storytelling tools.


People get hooked on TV shows like Lost and 24 because of character and plot. My guilty pleasure each week is Entourage. For a while, I resisted the show's pull, but then, it reeled me in. Would Drama flub another audition? Would Turtle land a record deal for his rapper? If game developers can pull off the same feat, someday soon I'll be jonesing for a weekly fix of Halo 3. Let's just hope I've got time for it.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
Sept. 22 2014 2:55 PM Nuptial Expert Sarkozy Worries About Gay Marriage and the Family
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 3:16 PM Watch the Best Part of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On the Run Tour
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.