First off I will give a small run down on the lay out on any blog that handles such discussions in a self argumentative way. As the title would suggest I am here to make the case for and against the idea of our sacred and beloved art form becoming embraced by mainstream media. So should we encourage the development of movies inspired by popular video games? Even if we asked Hollywood to stop pilfering our loved hobby for quick and easy profit, its a fat chance they will listen. After all the games industry dwarfs the movie and music industry by quite a substantial amount. So why wouldn't movie producers want a bite?
The Against Argument
Here i will summarize exactly why the big screen needs to leave my games alone..for good.
Lets get this straight video games aren't just art....they are the practically the result of ALL art. A fan of sketch work or painting? Well the developers probably hired a free hand artist to realize the concept of their world and characters before coding them. How about a lover of music? Its a certainty that probably the most original pieces in media these days are probably the soundtrack to some of the most popular video games. Is writing your bag? Well every game has to have a completely comprehensive original and engaging story bored. In fact these days it will probably have multiple endings, multiple beginnings and even reactive dialog paths depending on the players decisions. No matter what art form you favor, the games industry has probably used it somewhere along the line to realize their vision. This is precisely the problem with the conversion of a game to a movie. Your taking something that engages a person very interactively and turning it into a ride on a track. In a game the story is paced at YOUR leisure, the characters live or die by YOUR skill. In a film you have no control over what happens. Lets take a video game hero who has been adapted to film quite a lot, none other than the legend Lara croft. In a game like this there are puzzles and lots of them you have to actually use your brain to solve the problem or else nothing progresses, in the movie you simple watch Angelina Jolie read some Latin and push a button. As a story telling medium games are far superior in the sense that, you are inside the art interpreting it how you want to. Why then would you take something interactive,moving,reward based and turn it into a glorified museum tour of frames? I cant think why.
Street Fighter, Doom, Mortal Kombat Annihilation and of course the dreaded.. Super Mario Bros. So far there are very few occasions that get it right and far too many examples that get it hideously wrong such as the examples listed above. I am pretty confident i know the reason for this assault on the senses that these "films" are. Its all to do with seeing a marketable opportunity vs caring about the source material. Movie producers have understood for a while now that video games are money printers. These of course means that Hollywood would like to cash in on the prize cow. The problem is nobody seems to actually care about the games themselves. a perfect example is the Super mario Bros movie. First off why would you pick such a game to base a film on, there practically is no story to begin with. Don't get me wrong i love the games but its story isn't what attracts me. What attracts me is the Arcade like challenge of completing the well designed platform levels. The real reason this "film" was made is because Mario is probably one of the biggest money generators Nintendo has ever thrown in the gaming arena. If movie makers bothered to look at the critically acclaimed games instead of the most played popular ones we might have had better films to watch. The last of us, The uncharted series, The Witcher, Bioshock. These titles would make unbelievable movies infact Netflix seem to have picked up the slack where the Witcher is concerned. Valuing the source material and respecting the minds that created these characters and these worlds is far more valuable in the long run than these cash grab marketing schemes to grab onto the tail of the next gaming fad in hopes it will lead to profit.
Right now there is a revolution going on in the geeky world. Lets face it video game freaks weren't exactly social butterflies in the early birth pains of the art form. But slowly and surely gaming has punched its way to the top of popular culture and even professional competition. Musicians are writing and producing songs for game soundtracks, celebrities are making cameos inside our favorite games with the awesome power of motion capture technology, Youtube creators are building entire lively hoods around the pass time and some games are so detailed that people are willing to give real currency for virtual items. The growth of the popularity of video games is staggering and with site like youtube and twitch shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
The For Argument
In this section of the argument i will be arguing for making video games into movies and all the pit falls that need to be carefully outmaneuvered for success.
Lets face it we love super hero movies but their are a few too many now. Holly wood seems to be starving for new and interesting stories to tell with the big screen. So much so that the only thing people seem to want to watch is Chris Hemsworth take his shirt off. Games could be the creative gold mine to reinvigorate cinema and bring about a new golden age of Hollywood. Talented directors are a dying breed Tarentino, Riddley Scott, Peter jackson The list barely goes on. New and interesting stories could give movies the jump start its needed since we all entered the super hero coma. Stories from games like Dishonoured, Metal gear solid and red dead redemption could bring back Weird fantasy action adventure, Spy movies, westerns! Old concepts done in new and interesting ways with the support of probably the most active consumer community on the planet.
Now we have to talk about the dirty part. The money. Of course i kid, but seriously this could spread wealth around.. like a lot. With the Video games industry worth up to 90 billion u.s dollars there is potential to poor that success into making going to the cinema interesting again. The Market is already there waiting for the right director and production team to get it right for once. With the Movies access to the older audience of mainstream entertainment and the emerging success of the video game industry, we could be looking at two industries creating a thriving economy through support of one another which will in turn create work and opportunity for a lot of people.
Lets face it Actors are recognizable they are actors after all. But the current talent is type cast and a little older these days. The new and interesting stories could be performed by new blood perhaps by people of the generation who actually care about giving dignity to the games they are acting out.
The history of this en-devour is rife with failure. But and there is a big BUT! Under the right conditions and the right talent and guidance there are games that could be the making of a box office record smasher. This is an entire community begging Hollywood to listen to them so they can succeed and get it right! We want a last of us movie and by god we want a series of 40k war hammer movies preferably directed by Ridley Scott. To all aspiring movie makers who think it cant be done i say NAY i can be done but only if you seek a brilliant, loyal to the source MATERIAL!! product and not seek a big fat number on your check book...that will come later after you have created something worth being payed for.