Videogames Vs Movies: The Ultimate Showdown
You are the most important thing in the whole world. Doesn’t that make you feel just great?
Getting your attention is incredibly important and there are so many forms of entertainment vying for it. As consumers, it’s something we are bombarded with for the majority of our waking hours.
You can’t walk down the street, turn on any electronic device or even read a magazine without someone trying to sell you another piece of entertainment.
You are big business and your time is very precious, because, as we all know time equals money and for the big entertainment industries out there, getting your investment of either can lead to the mega-bucks.
Ever since Jaws and the summer of 1979, as Steven Spielberg’s film about a giant killer shark with a taste for local swimmers accidentally created an entirely new genre of filmmaking, big movies have spiralled into huge events.
Take a look at this year’s output of films and once we ignore the smaller titles (we’re looking at the very biggest products both movies and games have to offer to accurately compare) there have been some truly humongous movies.
Avengers Assemble, John Carter, The Hunger Games, Wrath Of The Titans, Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Men In Black III… the list is goes on.
Obviously, some of these films tanked spectacularly on release. John Carter failed to pull in audiences to such a degree that the head of Disney’s film-making studios, Rich Ross, stepped down from his position in what we can only assume was some sort of apology.
When so much money is at stake, there can be no awards for mediocre titles; it’s sink or swim time.
With so much at stake, is it any wonder that Hollywood has begun looking to games to secure its audiences?
For so long now gaming has offered the smallest of threats but as it’s grown in popularity the competition has become real and in today’s world, blockbuster movies and games stand shoulder to shoulder, both in popularity and revenue.
It’s been an insidious relationship for both parties. As games constantly strive to offer the same thrills as movies and with the technology catching up, it’s become difficult to distinguish between two. Hollywood has attempted to cash-in on gaming as well, both by using consoles as an additional marketing arm and by taking popular games and turning them into films.
But we all know how well that’s turned out. At best, a movie-game can achieve minimal critical success, with the Resident Evil films bucking the trend by being both well received by audiences and lauded by critics. It’s this back and forth relationship that’s become a fascinating dance between games and movies and the reason many have begun debating; which are better?
How we define that question often tips the argument one way or the other. But, as gaming edges closer to a new generation of consoles, and even the games in the here and now look more and more like big budget Hollywood productions, movies and games have been in such ferocious competition.
Though we’d love to say it all boils down to interactivity vs linear storytelling, the truth is, films and games are at war with ideas and creativity. A game might allow you to experience something first-hand, but if its ideas (with characters, plot and setting among a number of the many things needed to work cohesively) aren’t strong enough, the whole thing falls flat.
It’s a battle for your time and money that games are winning on both counts. They’re not only more time-consuming, but Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 managed to reach the $1 billion mark in sales faster than its nearest competitor, which was James Cameron’s Avatar. It’s an isolated incident, granted, but shows that there’s a very clear shift occurring from one form of entertainment to the other. Going to the cinema is a hobby in decline, though more people are watching films at home.
Movies and games are beginning to find ways of working harmoniously, but there’s no doubt that games are pushing creative boundaries that movies simply can’t. When they look identical (and they will sooner than you think), what will happen to the multiplex?
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