StarCraft in 5 Minutes

About 15 percent of the world’s population knows what StarCraft is. Of those people, 5 percent have played it. Three percent of them have a vague idea of what happened in the original game’s storyline. And one half of one percent of those people understood it.

I completely made those numbers up, but hopefully some lazy journalist will pick it up and use it in a feature article about the StarCraft II launch. Credit me please, people. We’re all professionals here.

When new installments in huge game franchises are released, I like to do these brief primers on their storylines to get people caught up. The primary goal is to break everything down into an easily digestible five-minute chunk of info. But it’s really about having fun with the material. Usually the plots are so mangled and tangled that playing it straight would be utterly dull and, frankly, quite lame. So we decided early on that these should be funny, snappy and tongue-in-cheek while delivering all the right details.

This time around, I worked with fellow IGN editor Charles Onyett to write the script. He has epic StarCraft knowledge and insisted that the game would make for a good installment in the In 5 Minutes series. I laughed at him. But then he gave me that wounded, sad look that Canadians are so famous for. So I relented.