Gaming / Movies

The changing cinematic experience

A number of things have been occurring to me over the last few weeks. It may just be that things that have been slowly creeping up on me. It may just be me and the company I keep, but maybe there is some truth based in the shift in entertainment today.

One has to do with books, but tonight I’ll cover the other. The cinematic experience.

All this came from a realization that hit me a week back. I no longer look forward to film like I used to. Instead, I’m looking forward to games.

Truth be told, the gaming experience has shifted sharply since I was a kid. Games used to be Space Invaders. Now they’re closer and closer to interactive experiences, with fully realized narration. It was once that voice acting was lauded, with casts touted as being pulled from established actors. Now we see actual actors being involved directly in games. Point in case, LA Noire, on which BBC has a rather interesting article on.

This isn’t true of all games, but it’s certainly a shift of recent times. Gaming has been seen as a legitimate medium for which to deliver stories. Where previously I used to see upcoming film trailers and wait eagerly for the release of said film, I’m now seeing far more cinematic trailers coming from games, and count down the months for the launch date.

I can’t remember the last time I debated with friends what a film sequel might hold. I’ve debated with countless friends on what the conclusion of the Mass Effect sequel might hold in terms of its storytelling conclusion.

Perhaps I’m at an unlucky age of film. And again, like gaming, not all films fit this over generalisation. But as a kid in the grand old 80’s we were saved the horrible remake. I’ve seen most of these ideas, stories and characters, packaged ‘fresh’ for a new generation. I saw them as a kid. What does it say that we’re heading into a third generation of Superman film? Not a remake. The word ‘reboot’ is now applied to film.

For me at least, film now is a throwaway experience. There’s scant few films that I go back to these days. The film that I don’t mind spending time with again are older ones. I’d much rather sit down with a 20-30 hour experience, something that’s going to last with me. It’s true that the two serve different purpose, but in terms of the format in which I receive my stories, I think that’s definitely changing.

How does this seem to meet with your expectation of the two? I’m probably neither a normal film goer or game consumer, but I think it’s an interesting direction in which games are finally going. And I’ll always lament the direction that film has gone. Having said that, we are certainly living in an age in which things are changing more and more quickly.

Cinema’s certainly not dying, just evolving. Just into what, and how, that’s the real story.

One thought on “The changing cinematic experience

  1. I love the way games are evolving, and think many people appreciate this. I just hope that film can find a way to evolve in great ways too, rather than, as you say, rehashing everything that’s been done, and making sequels to movies that weren’t that great to begin with

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