Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Games and Movies

Tina is not a gamer, but Thor keeps tabs on them all.
Tina: The graphics are spiffy and all, but all that bang, bang and noise?

Thor: Some are non-violent. SimCity…

Tina: They’re only a minority. And what’s this about violent games causing antisocial behavior? The boy who went beserk after two days playing… what was it?

Thor: Grand Theft Auto?

Tina: And he went mad in a supermarket and jumped on a turtle. A defenceless turtle. What did the turtle ever do to him?

Thor: Media frenzy making simplistic links. Sloppy research. Ask more questions. What kind of parents would let a ten year old play a computer game for two straight days? Look elsewhere for the causal factors.

Tina: Anyway, Games demand too much in the way of decisions and clicking. I like to sit and watch and have a narrator tell me the story.

Thor: There is such a game, Metal Gear Solid 4. Part game but slows down and becomes a movie in places. Nice graphics. Japanese designer Hideo Kojima. Cinematic.

Tina: Will it make me want to go and jump on turtles?

Not all gamers communicate in monosyllables and have no eye contact. Reviewers of gamers often write eloquently. And doing justice to a visual experience can be a pretty daunting challenge using only text.

MGS4 raises an interesting question. Are games and movies mutually unintelligible narrative dialects?

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