Comparing one narrative medium to another is a tricky business. Anyone who has read a Harry Potter book and then seen the ensuing film adaptation — which is to say, almost everyone on earth – knows that every storytelling method has its own strengths and weaknesses. Still, there is something particularly fascinating about the rivalry between movies and videogames. Cinema was the original popular art form, but it has spent over half a century fighting against rival media: Television, home video, and finally the videogame, which has evolved in just a few short decades from the primordial elements of Pong into the culture-defining medium of Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and The Legend of Zelda.
The key to the great Film/Videogame debate is that the two have evolved alongside of each other. Videogames have become more “filmlike,” with more realistic characters and complex plotting. In turn, movies have absorbed many lessons from videogames, some of them good (films like The Hurt Locker and Children of Men have a you-are-there grandeur that feels very gamelike) and some of them not so good (watching Michael Bay’s Transformers trilogy is are exactly as enjoyable as watching your little brother play videogames you used to love before you turned 6). Now, I and fellow videogame fiend Adam B. Vary debate whether videogames have outright passed the movies as the popular narrative medium. Tell us your own thoughts in the comments. READ FULL STORY »