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Thursday, August 30, 2007
R.A. Salvatore Discusses Storytelling In The Internet Age
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

GameDaily BIZ has posted a new article from New York Times bestselling fantasy author R.A. Salvatore. The article offers the author's insights into how advances in technology, like the internet, have changed the way people relate to storytelling. Salvatore asserts that games will continue to cement their place next to books, television, and movies as a powerful storytelling medium.

We've seen Ultima, Everquest, EQII, Asheron's Call, ACII, Dark Age of Camelot, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online and so many others, culminating, at this time, with the amazing success of World of Warcraft. But we're just beginning! The industry, the art form (and yes, Roger Ebert, it will become an art form), is in its infancy. I'm sure other designers feel as I do: that I'm on the front edge of this gigantic wave that's going to wash over the world and profoundly change the way we get our entertainment. As the computing power gets stronger and bandwidth goes super-speed, I wonder if people will, instead of watching soap operas, create an avatar and live in one. Follow that logic for a while and you'll see that the implications regarding societal ethics and mores is stunning. If a woman creates a soap opera character and has an affair in-game, is she cheating on her husband? Is it wrong to kill someone else's avatar in a game? What about breaking into someone else's virtual home and stealing?

So many questions are opened, with answers that will evolve over the course of decades, no doubt.

But let's get back to the here and now. I knew my job as a novelist, as I said before. I invite you the reader to adventure along with my characters on some epic quest. In a video game such as the one I'm now working on with 38 Studios, that job changes profoundly, because the most important character in this adventure will be, has to be, the one you, the player, creates. You don't want me or any other author writing your adventure for you; you want to "write" it yourself, through your adventuring. My job, the designer's job, then, is to make a world both fantastical and believable, a world that makes sense. Think of it like weaving a gigantic carpet, and I maintain that the deeper the threads the history of the world, of the races, their relationships and conflicts the more consistent and enjoyable your journey will be.
Perhaps best known for his Dark Elf novel series set in the Forgotten Realms, Salvatore is currently working with others at the newly formed 38 Studios to create a new offering in the growing MMO marketplace.

Follow the link below to read the rest of the article.

GameDailybiz: R.A. Salvatore Speaks About The New Fantasy

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