Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Film and Video Game Convergence Part II

There are obvious times when Hollywood and video game makers benefit by working together on a property. It's likely that the Peter Jackson produced Halo film will be successful. Likewise, the Chronicles of Riddick made a nice transition from big screen to video game. But as much as some sort of great convergence is discussed, how much overlap can there really be between the two industries? How many video games actually translate to movies? Very few I think--Madden '06, The Movie; Civilization IV; The Sims? How many movies translate to video games? Lost in Translation, The Video Game; The Passion of the Christ; The 40-Year Old Virgin (well maybe, but I'm not sure I'd want to play that one).

Obviously, there is an overlapping area where video games and movies can converge, mainly in the genre of action-adventure and perhaps mystery-suspense. But even within this area of shared interest, I see some serious problems. First of all, many of these convergences haven't been successful (too many examples to mention). At their best, these convergences can create an immersive enviroment, but in most cases one simply can't recreate what made the other successful. Perhaps strengthening the partnership on these properties will make a difference--I have my doubts. Second, and this is a problem mostly for the movie industry, does Hollywood really want to become a huge lead-in for video game sales? Do they (or we) really want movies whose sole purpose is to promote video games properties? I think not, but perhaps if that happens, story and character driven movies will be made elsewhere (television, internet, etc.) and Hollywood will truly merge with the video game industry.


At 9:06 AM, Blogger Rossaroni said...

I think the problem with most video game-to-movie conversions is that the only time that kind of jump really works is when the video game has a very strong storyline and, at the very least, the basis for solid character and plot development. With video games, though, the focus in production is on the gameplay rather than on the storytelling elements. There are some games that would make superb films, like Prince of Persia.

Anyways, I'm not too happy about this film + game merger idea, but I suppose the best of the two individual mediums will stay relatively untouched. There's plenty of room to crap up either one.


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