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Do The Old Republic web comics mark a worrying trend?

By on February 27, 2009
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star-wars

Bioware has just released the first of three web comics, in promotion of Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic.

Though this comic isn’t particularly my cup of tea, it’s the trend towards video game comics in general that’s concerning me today.

Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge, The Old Republic… (coincidentally all EA releases) it seems that comics are fast becoming an essential element in any self-respecting AAA release. Now, I’m no major comic book buff, or even fan, and I’m in nothing like a position to comment qualitatively on comics in general – either for or against. I simply take issue with anything that potentially undermines the importance of interactive entertainment.

The dichotomy of video games’ relationship with film is well documented – we spend so much of our time pursuing filmic ideals, but also seek to foster an artform that stands on its own to feet. Now, the aesthetic similarities between comics and games, combined with the unfortunately huge overlap of themes and audience, appears to be encouraging still stronger a relationship, when really there should be almost none at all.

To be clear, I am not against video games based on comics, or vica versa. It just seems somewhat misguided to promote one artform (one that is struggling enough to establish its own identity) in the guise of another.

About Tom Jubert

Tom Jubert is a freelance games writer / narrative designer, best known for his work on the Penumbra series, for which he was nominated for a Writers' Guild Award. His upcoming releases include Lost Horizon and Driver: San Francisco. He was previously the Managing Editor at GameShadow.com, and has also spent time in production.
  • Bionic Commando now has one from Dave Gibbons, artist on Watchmen and Broken Sword.

    http://bioniccommando.com/us/comics/view

  • I understand your point that we should be proud of our medium and not worry that we are unable to tell a narrative in the way that, say, a comic book can.

    On the other hand, I used to love getting goodies with games (the novella that came with Elite I read again and again.) So I like this meta-narrative, this expanded universe that I can explore.

    So, in other words, we should be proud of games, but I also like reading about it more. For once, I think I disagree with you 🙂