Do games pass the Disney test?

You could learn a lot from Disney. I went to Disney Animation Studios last week to be brainwashed by Disney minions, and it worked. John Lasseter, the new studio head, has reinvigorated Disney with his business and creative sense. According to his minions, he insists every project coming out of Disney must have the following:

  1. Good story
  2. Good characters
  3. A believable world

You’d think these imperatives go without saying, but apparently not.  If Disney needs a reminder, then so do games. 

Out of all three, games have a definite edge over Hollywood when it comes to building a believable world. Not only do game writers tend to create extensive world bibles for certain game genres, the player can experience the world on his or her own terms.  What happens if you kill the mayor?  Oops — the militia turn hostile.  Is this shadowy figure well known?  You ask the milkmaid, and she says everyone’s seen him once.  Mix in game physics for added believability, and you get all this including the visual storytelling methods games share with Disney and its amazing friends!

Out of recent story games, which do you think pass the Disney test?  If game story can either be linear or nonlinear, and characters can be pre-set or player generated, do you think the test even applies to games? 

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Filed under Game Design, Writing

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