Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Bridging the gap between Video Games and Movies

Its hard to say that video games can catch the audience's attention the same that movies do. Sure they can be more addictive and can last longer but ask yourself when was the last time you cried or even felt emotional through a Video Game? Personally, despite playing through some of the most interesting engaging stories in a video game I have yet to feel a tiny bit emotional. Your main ally dies? so what. Video games however much they try just can not match Movies when it comes to emotional attachment to the story or the characters.

LA Noire's Facial Animation.

Video games have massive potential to appeal to the audience who see video games as a waste of time. This is mainly because there has yet to be a video game that can capture the audiences attention the same way movies do. All that is about to change. New technology ushered in by Rockstar studios has allowed full facial animation of a characters face which means every little facial movement can be captured and put in the game. The first game to use this is LA Noire, a crime thriller. Sure, the animations might not be ultra realistic and the characters faces might seem a bit odd but this is just the start. This game has the potential to bridge the gap between video games and movies in terms of story and audience engagement . As the technology develops and more studios start using it video games stories might become as enthralling as a Hollywood blockbuster instead of a mediocre B movie.

The video game industry have realised the need to have a good story in almost every genre, most recently the sports genre. The next Fight Night game from EA has a significant story element to it which has never been done before. You can tell by the level of excitement for this game that incorporating the story element into sports games is a new and highly popular idea. Why stop at boxing though? the next Fifa game should have a story that pits you as a young and upcoming youngster who overcomes problems to play football professionally. I believe Fifa's 'be a pro mode' which lets you create a player and play him throughout his career  is the first step to this. If the Fight Night game sells well, who knows it may just catch on.

Fight Night Champion

I do not think it will be a long time until we see A-list actors not only providing voice overs for video games but actually acting in them by capturing their facial animations. Imagine if Natalie Portman can give the same performance she did in Black Swan with a video game. Okay, so that might be a long way off but it is possible. When that happens I truly believe Video games will match Movies.

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