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Broadway & Video Games

Sometimes emails take on a life of their own and become blog posts (this is such a case). I’m writing this as a response to Emily DaSilva’s fantastic blog post on marketing for theater. Live performance has a unique, emotional power over me. As an audience member there are moments when I feel a meditative sense of self-reflection, while simultaneously being engrossed with the events on stage. Instead of my attention being split between the two, I feel instead that my attention to both has been doubled. The duality of the situation is the most unusual thing but it leaves me with a clearer head by the time I leave the theater.

I was listening to Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude while studying with my brother and he asked me if I was watching the Halo 3 “Believe” trailer. “Believe” is one of my favorite advertisements of all time. In an industry that is preoccupied with graphics, action, and gore, “Believe” offers a frozen moment in time - a diorama one would find in a war museum. Chopin plays in the background as Ken Burns style shots pan across the screen, each figurine in the diorama with facial expressions detailed down to the lip and eyebrow. This ad conveys an incredible emotional connection (and desire to participate) despite the fact that it doesn’t contain a single second of game footage. The making of the diorama itself is pretty fascinating.

In what is at its core a video game about killing as many aliens as possible, “Believe” is a case study in how to “present things slowly, coherently and meaningfully[1].” If Broadway & Co can figure out how to do that, maybe they can get that 18-35 demographic to put down their Xbox controllers and head to the box office.

[1] Under #2.