If the prospect of seeing Chris Hardwick host the 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards and the recently unveiled Assassin’s Creed-themed trailer didn’t have you excited for next week’s D.I.C.E. Summit, then this will. The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences is announcing today that Star Trek Into Darkness director and former Nerdist podcast guest J.J. Abrams will join keynote speaker Gabe Newell for a unique session entitled “Storytelling Across Platforms: Who Benefits Most, the Audience or the Player?” Yes, you read that right – the man who revolutionized polar bears and lens flares will be siting down with the man who made us care about hats again to have a conversation about storytelling. Regardless of how you feel about the announcement that J.J. Abrams will be directing Star Wars: Episode VII, this looks like one of the most exciting events on the D.I.C.E. Summit schedule.
In addition to this super-session, Newell will give the Thursday keynote address, entitled “A View on Next Steps,” which will focus on where the direction of the industry as it moves forward, Valve’s impending living room invasion and more. Oh, and Newell will be also be honored at the D.I.C.E. Awards on February 7th as well. Wait a minute…three Gaben-centric events? J.J. Abrams in attendance? Hmm… can we extrapolate confirmation of Half-Life 3 (and a Half-Life movie)?