All About Pinguicha
To me, games have a certain appeal that movies don't.
This appeal mainly stems from being in control. In video games, depending on the genre, you can be in absolute control of a character, and sometimes, even the story, whereas in a movie, all you have to do is simply lie back and enjoy. They both have their pros and cons, but ultimately, I will always prefer games over movies because, to a point, I am in control.
However, some people seem to believe the future of video games as an entertainment medium lies not in giving control to the players, but to take it from them. Some people think that, in order to be "art", video games need to approach movies more and more, and it's an opinion I'm completely against.
I will bring the most recent "interactive movie", Heavy Rain, to the table as a means to prove my point.
In Heavy Rain, the player is given the sensation that he's in control of the game's events, characters and outcome of the story. But, for most of the time, you're not. Whether you choose to schmooze or to intimidate someone, the outcome is the same, and the only times you can truly influence the story are almost always by failing quick-time events.
Then, there's the fact that, according to your choices, you can do something that is completely against the personality of the character you're playing as. You can do it throughout the entire game and, at the ending, the way you've played a certain character matter little because his or her motivations always lay somewhere else entirely different.
In a narrative that's entirely character driven, I think it's a crime to allow the players to command a character's personality if, in the end, it doesn't matter. I have heard complaints about Western RPGs and how the main character always is in blank, but I think it's the right approach. It's your character, one you can mold however you please. It's a personality you, the player, have created, and if it changes, it's because you want it to, not as a form of deus-ex machina. Those games adapt to such changes.
"Interactive movies" such as Heavy Rain, however, don't. If you've played a character as being a nice guy, he shouldn't have to change suddenly because it's the only way he has of fitting in with the story. The relationship between a game and its characters should be symbiotic and not forceful, like it is in Heavy Rain.
If a game wants to tell a story and offer you choices, it should be prepared to act upon the way you play it. If it isn't prepared or capable to do so, then it should just take the choices off of you. That way it would avoid inevitable plot holes and how your ordered your character to behave would never be in conflict with him.
It's clear that developers want to elevate games to art form. Personally, I believe they have all they need in order to accomplish that, but they shouldn't lose sight that games are great because they offer you choices and control. If they ever want them to be regarded as art, they should stop trying to make them more like movies and keep them just what they are: games.
Because, in the end, games will never be movies and I, for one, am grateful for that.
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Established Aug 23, 2010