Editor's Note: June 28, 2013
Managing editor Jess Cagle discusses Steven Spielberg and George Lucas's predictions about the future of games and movies
A celebration is in order. It’s been 10 years since that watershed day — June 12, 2013 — when Steven Spielberg and George Lucas sat on a panel at the University of Southern California (now the Jaden Smith Center for Education and Whatnot) and spoke so presciently about the future of movies and games. Since then, just about everything they envisioned has come true. I say ”just about” because they did miss the mark on a few things. Lucas predicted, quite rightly, that entertainment purveyors would be able to tap into your brain so you can ”create your own world,” but he failed to recognize the burden this would place on the adult-entertainment industry, which is just too unorganized and druggy to keep up with demand. I was skeptical when Lucas told us that big movies would play in theaters for a year, with tickets costing up to $150. But sure enough, last weekend I paid exactly that to see the new Avengers movie, Ant-Man and the Rest of Them. It was worth it, because in this amazing, totally engrossing experience (the kind that Spielberg foretold), there is no movie screen. Stuff just happens all around you. You actually fly out of your seat when Thor brings down the hammer, and you can smell the Hulk. Both sequences made me sick, but at least I got to enjoy my $85 bag of popcorn twice. It’s been years since a non-superhero movie played in theaters. We now take it for granted that any serious film with character development or one of Meryl Streep’s daughters may be watched only on Netflix or similar streaming services. Not even the cable companies — and their insistence on making new video-on-demand releases available ”sometime between 12 and 5 on Wednesday” — could derail this significant cultural shift. Publishing has also gone through a lot of changes in the past 10 years. We salute those who continue to read EW on the traditional paper and digital platforms. And we applaud the subscribers reading via cornea implants. Remember to blink once to go to the next story, twice to go straight to the Must List, and three times to see the NSFW video of the new guy from the Zesty Italian salad dressing ads. Enjoy.