February 2, 2013
Is It Curtains For Hollywood?
In just 30 short years, the gaming entertainment industry has evolved its storytelling presentation into something that rivals the film industry.
Gaming has come a long way since the days of those bulky arcade machines. One can simply look at games then and now to see the leaps and bounds achieved within the gaming industry. The huge leap that really stands out in my mind is that of storytelling in games. In just 30 short years, the gaming entertainment industry has evolved its storytelling presentation into something that rivals the film industry.
Think about it. Anything that can happen in films can easily occur in the world of video games. From a stories plot twist to special effects, these two industries are evenly matched. This, however, is the point at which the stalemate ends.
The market share for games is staggering. From the millions of grown adults who play a few times a week, to the younger generation of kids, obsessively compelled to play all the time (I mean, seriously do kids even have toys or watch cartoons anymore?), people are playing more than ever. And the declining box office revenue every year isn’t helping Hollywood in this entertainment battle. With this shift in interest, plus the younger generation of children growing up favoring games over films, this looks to be a disastrous pattern that may spiral out of Hollywood’s hands.
Let’s take a look into why this shift has occurred. First off, the lengths of games are longer than films, of course. The player gets more story than watching a two-hour film, and then waiting two years for a sequel. What’s more is video games are connected to the Internet, which led to the advancement of downloadable content. Downloadable content allows the player another hour or so of story time. The average person may play an hour or two each day, constantly advancing through a compelling story.
Next, the player is immersed into the game. This is facilitated by a suspension of disbelief that is typically longer than is needed for a movie. This is just the nature of video games, in general. With a big blockbuster movie, you may know the actor playing the lead role and the director of the whole shindig. Add to this their media blitz that has them appearing on all of your favorite late night talk shows to promote the flick. With gaming, the same rules apply regarding the whole illusion thing, but games aren’t promoted through big name actors or directors. This leaves that much more to the imagination.
For instance, you watch Robert Downey Jr. take on the role of Tony Stark, who takes the role of Iron Man. In a game you are told the story of Iron Man while controlling him. So, in a sense, one can walk a day in his life.
The days of Hollywood may not be coming to an end, but it is possible the days of Hollywood being the top dog of entertainment may soon be coming to a conclusion. Video games have taken the hearts of millions of people. And maybe this isn’t because it is a better art form, but rather because the interactive entertainment medium is more relevant for this generation.
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