We’ve heard a lot about the various video games that are not only attracting significant commercial interest but also a notable critical interest. We’ve seen games like Heavy rain, The last of us, And even entries in Metal equipment The series are advertised as great interactive experiences and are advertised in the same way for video games as the greatest films made over the years.
I would suggest that this is not only an unfair comparison, but a harmful one as well. Video games, by their nature, are an intricately different medium and must be balanced against one another rather than another form of media.
The easiest similarity we have with this kind of miscalculation is also one that’s been around for quite some time: books to movies. We have heard, countless times, how many times a “book is better” when comparing the films about the book. There may be some expectations that have caused this to change, but more often than not it is when standards break down when you look at the details. The book has more ability to delve into direct detail, and more space to explore different plots and characters. No movie can cover everything a book does because it won’t have enough time or reasonable capacity. What makes a good movie doesn’t make a good book.
We are faced with the same situation, even if the variables are different, when comparing movie to game. The game inherently contains an interactive component that the movie does not have. The movie has a set amount of time to aim to try to tell its story, and it has the feature to allow better control over writing, lighting, and camera operation.
Video games have this in the scenes. But for the majority of the game, this kind of control is impossible. Video games aren’t meant to give you the same movie experience, nor should they do that. While we can have absolutely amazing experiences with games of any genre, trying to make a comparison to movies starts to unravel. Not only with the camera and cinematography mentioned above, but also with the pure experience. The film can allow for a long and detailed show, and it has been more than a century since they have refined their craft. Video games are at their strongest when they focus on their strengths; Play, clash with the player. Rarely does a critically acclaimed game cite a cinematic viewer as a highlight; If they did, it would likely not be received well by players.
Often the forms of different media are compared to each other, but in the end, we look at the strengths of the medium. This is true of books, theater, movies… And now, video games are entering the cycle. But it should not be the way it is, nor should it be compared and not expected to do so. Like any good broker, we should celebrate what makes it unique instead of trying to compare it to what it cannot be.
Evil tv scholar. Proud twitter aficionado. Travel ninja. Hipster-friendly zombie fanatic.