Halo 2 and the Art of Storytelling

The Future

So much killing to do ... so little time.
So much killing to do ... so little time.
Photo courtesy Bungie

HSW: As a new form of storytelling, video games could, in the future, merge with the film industry or possibly eclipse it. What do you think the future holds for video games as a medium of storytelling?

Pete Parsons: I never believe we will merge in any way shape or form with films. The way I like to think about it is that games will emerge in their own right as their own form of entertainment. And not just in the creativity of the work, but in the business side as well. Because I think if the first part is done right the second part will follow. You know, the movie business emerged over a hundred years ago, and it really evolved. We're not in the infant stage, but we're certainly in the toddler stage, and I absolutely believe we will emerge in our own right.

I really love movies ... but at the end of the day, I like games better because you know, no matter what I do to a movie, no matter how cool a movie is, no matter how much it's changed me, every time I sit down and watch it, it's the same.

The people that make games have a really interesting opportunity to create a work of art that you really care about or that you really believe or that you just have fun with, but where you get to be the center of attention. You get to make the choices. It's you; it's you on the Halo standing between the destruction of mankind and the Covenant juggernaut -- right? And ultimately, for me, that is more compelling.

It's a new type of storytelling, and Pete Parsons and his team at Bungie are pioneers and visionaries in the field. For years fans eagerly awaited the sequel to "Halo." All that time, scouring the net, greedily gobbling up tid-bits of news, gossip, screenshots and rumors. In month ahead it built to a raging storm of speculation and anticipation that burst worldwide on November 9th, 2004. You saw this on the news. You heard about this from friends. If you'd never heard of "Halo" before, that changed after November 9th, 2004.

In the eye of the storm, Pete Parsons and the artists at Bungie have created more than a video game: They have created a cultural event. But for a man so close to the biggest day in entertainment history and so close to the game that created that day, as our conversation came to a close, Pete seemed calm, collected and consistent in his belief in Bungie's overall mission: to create a new type of storytelling. "I really like thinking about people putting up on their list of great entertainment experiences. They love 'Moby Dick,' 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' is definitely in their top five, and you know whatever game -- be it 'Halo' or some other game -- it's right up there on that pedestal with other great entertainment experiences people have had. And I don't believe that's just possible; that's going to happen."

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links