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Which is the better cinematic medium?

Video Games
3 (13%)
Movies
20 (87%)

Total Members Voted: 22


Author Topic: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!  (Read 12196 times)

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Offline Pak-Man

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Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« on: February 20, 2007, 12:58:38 PM »
This was talked about elsethread and I thought I'd open up the discussion.

Movies: The original visual mass-marketed storytelling device. For nigh 100 years, it sat high on the throne of the storytelling world and delighted us with stories good and bad.

Video Games: The Next step in cinematic evolution? Video Games can now do just about anything a movie can, but gives you  the option of taking control of a character, making it more personal. Choices can be made and the story can be altered based on your actions. Have Video Games beaten movies at their own game?


Offline kodiakthejuggler

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2007, 01:04:16 PM »
I think the next evolution in entertainment will be a cross between Video Games and Movies. Yes, giving the observer the opportunity to take part in the adventure is the next step, and now that High Definition DVD players are in the Playstation 3 and XBox 360, the gap is closing more and more. Soon, interactivity will be the norm.

Who knows, with cinema quality constantly degrading, it might be closer than we think...


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2007, 01:11:05 PM »
no they have not beaten movies.  Not if taken on the whole.  There are some games that beat SOME movies in cinematic style and what not, but its really comparing apples and oranges.  Its like comparing the best scifi book to the best scifi movie.  there is no comparison becuase there arent enough similarities.  For the time being i vote movies are better at dramatic story telling. 


Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2007, 07:37:34 PM »
I disagree with Sarcasm, as it is so often the case (it's really amazing that we still communicate.  We argue on so many points, yet strangely, I still like you.  I'm starting to think that you might be my evil and/or good twin.) 

As I said in a previous thread, movies and games are incredibly similar.  They both tell visual stories using human like characters, and they both convey conversations through audible dialogue (for the most part.  And especially in the more cinematic games.)  If a game has a story, there are generally character arcs and plot points and some sort of struggle, which is preached in the writing of a screenplay.    Though they generally don't follow a three act structure for one reason, which is the first difference that I will mention.  Time.  Video games can take up a lot of it, movies can't. 

Time is a huge difference, and I think the most important difference.  We are so used to the rigid structure of television and movies that for the longest time it seemed like that was the only format in which to market visual stories to a lot of people.  And it is generally true.  If you have programing that is longer than 2:30 hours, people are going to get antsy and bored.  Why?  That's just how long our attention span runs for something that is as passive as looking at a screen.

Video games, on the other hand, are not passive.  They can be very interactive, relying on your input to further the story.  This stretches people's attention spans to the length of television shows.  Technically, most television shows are longer than movies, because most have continuing stories.  But television shows have their problems.  They have to put out a show every week, forcing writers to create filler in between the really big plot points.  There's nothing wrong with having little side stories (or side quests) but when the only reason they are put there is so they meet their quota of shows, they can be distracting and annoying, as you are forced to wait until the next episode to return to the main story.  Also, each episode is forced to have some sort of closure, and if not that then a big cliff hanger.  What if the story you are trying to tell doesn't have closure every 30 minuets?  With video games, you decide when to stop.  You decide when you've had adequate closure for the session you were playing.

The story structure of the more cinematic video games are not so much like movies or television, but more like books.  Books can take as much time as they want to tell you their story, and they don't have to worry about filling a time slot, or coming in under 2 hours.  They can go off on little tangents for as long as they feel necessary, then bring you back in to the main plot as they please.  They can have more than 3 acts, and have the time to really delve deep into characters that might just be glanced at in film. 

Video games can have the best of both worlds.  They can have the detailed, immersive stories of books, but they can tell them with detailed and mood provoking visuals that used to only belong to movies.  Add onto that video game's own unique ability to engage the viewer with interactivity, and you have the ultimate tool for telling stories. 

But as Sarcasm pointed out, this is not done every time.  Video games also have the ability to make no sense at all, have no story, and still be really fun.  But there is the potential for really powerful stories to be told through video games.  Just the fact that you are playing as one of the characters immediately heightens the viewers ability to connect with the protagonist.  That's something movies can only dream of. 

Are video games going to replace movies?  No.  But I feel it will be used increasingly as a medium for storying telling, rather than just games.  And to me, it has the potential to tell more engaging stories. 

EDIT:  To address Sarcasm's point more clearly, I guess we don't really disagree.  There aren't any games that have moved me as much as a movie YET, but I'm sure there will be in the future.  Though it's come awful close.  That scene in Super Mario World where Peach finally kisses Mario, I mean, my eyes were so full of tears that I couldn't tell which was the A and which was the X button.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 08:02:45 PM by varietyofcells »


Offline AmandaGal

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2007, 08:18:22 PM »
The Final Fantasy series, I think, is the closest we have to a game matching a movie.  Those games have great cinematic production plus great game play.  I think you could just watch the cutscenes and still be entertained.  Some of the horror games are also pretty good at story telling. 

I guess I agree with both sides but I voted movies.  We're not there yet with video games but we will be.  That's one thing that's disappointing about the Wii.  They kind of slacked on the graphics which is going to hold them back from moving in that direction as much.  They've always been graphic slackers though.
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Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2007, 08:31:55 PM »
The Final Fantasy series, I think, is the closest we have to a game matching a movie.  Those games have great cinematic production plus great game play.  I think you could just watch the cutscenes and still be entertained.  Some of the horror games are also pretty good at story telling. 

I guess I agree with both sides but I voted movies.  We're not there yet with video games but we will be.  That's one thing that's disappointing about the Wii.  They kind of slacked on the graphics which is going to hold them back from moving in that direction as much.  They've always been graphic slackers though.

Here I am, ranting about how great video games are for telling stories, and I bought a wii because "Hey!  That looks really fun.  Looks like they are trying to get back to what video games really should be, fun to play."  So yeah, I agree with everyone that video games have not surpassed movies in story telling yet, but I voted for video games because I believe they will in the future.  Heck, they could now If they let me make a video game.   ;)


Offline Minnesota

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2007, 09:03:03 PM »



24: feels like a real episode and Rise to Honor feels like a jet Li movie... is that what you mean? or do you actually expect future video games to rival feature films, not for at least a decade in my opinion

also, variety your points are well taken, games allow you to do both take part in the storyline or explore the world and go off on other tangents. I suppose I agree with who ever made the "apples and oranges" comment. The two are different enough to be incomparable.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 09:12:26 PM by Minnesota »


Offline Road_Element

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2007, 09:35:01 PM »
I think the major difference is that in a Video Game is you play an active part in the story. I mean if the game dosnt have a interesting story. Im not likely to carry on playing it. Either that or the controlling is totally screwed up. Of course with the excepting of old 2-D Games. But overall i like games with good stories that are going to make me keep playing just to see what is going to happen next. I also like games that make you care for the characters. I mean when Meryl got shot in Metal Gear Soild. I was like freakin out.  I wouldnt say that video games are better then movies or more cinematic. But they are more immersive and i would say they are (nowadays) simular to movies as far as storytelling goes even tho they tell them in different ways.. Anyways i can easily think of games that where alot better then good amount of movies that come out every year.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 10:27:06 AM by Road_Element »


Offline mrbasehart

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2007, 06:45:28 AM »
While I love games, storywise, I don't think they're anywhere near the complexity of movies just yet.  I think they'll get there, and I agree with Kodiak that some sort of fusion will occur (let's hope it's not the reemergence of FMV games, though).


Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2007, 08:25:48 AM »
While I love games, storywise, I don't think they're anywhere near the complexity of movies just yet.  I think they'll get there, and I agree with Kodiak that some sort of fusion will occur (let's hope it's not the reemergence of FMV games, though).

I disagree.  I think the stories for some games are way more complex than any movies.  The stories of final fantasy and some other RPGs like Xeno Gears have incredibly complex stories that you just couldn't tell in film.  But, most of them are lacking the powerful acting and story design that make movies so moving.  Video games are way more complex, but movies are still more moving.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2007, 09:05:29 AM »
Here's where I get to tout Knights of the Old Republic! :^) It had a story that ranks up there with actual Star Wars movies, and it's a story that can't be told on the silver screen because the outcome of the story depends on your actions as the main character. The game goes out of the way to put you in the same mindset as the character you chose, while putting the character you chose into your mindset. It makes it all the more immersive and all the more shocking when a certain spoilerific revelation is revealed. :^)


Offline Tyrant

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2007, 10:26:13 AM »

  Pak brings up an interesting point: Multiple endings.

  Which brings up the point of replayability. Videogames often have multiple endings which prompt hardcores to go through the game again to change the ending. Movies have one ending and one ending only. Videogames can be more enjoyable the second, third, fourth go-around. Movies not so much (unless you REALLY love the movie). I think movies are more enjoyable to that end when you're watching with -other- people who haven't seen it before.

   I do believe comparing movies to videogames is difficult. Both provide entertainment value, but on different scales. There will be people who prefer one over the other, but I think overall it's split down the middle.

   I think both groups will be happy when we finally invent the HoloDeck from Star Trek.  ;)


Offline Minnesota

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2007, 10:52:33 AM »
Movies have one ending and one ending only.


I know this is kindof an obvious point but thousands of dvds have alternate endings... not really the same because its not in the theatrical but then again it does offer an alternative.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2007, 10:56:14 AM »
Yeah, but video games can change the whole story leading to the ending. You can even change whose story is being told.


Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: Video Games Vs. Movies: FIGHT!
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2007, 10:59:00 AM »
But you don't really get to choose which ending you get (in movies, even if there are multiple ones).  However, the whole ending thing is something else that movies have going for it.  It's much easier to have a 'bad' ending in a movie than a video game.  If you play though a video game only to find out that you and your friends all die at the end, you aren't going to be very happy about that.  In movies, however, it's easier to have 'bad' endings that make a strong point.  You have more control in where the story goes with films.  Where as in video games, you have to leave it a little more open to give the viewer some feeling of control over where the story is going.  If you are trying to make a point, or convery a message, it's much easier to do so in movies. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 11:01:31 AM by varietyofcells »