I remember my auntie saying “wow they look like real people” as she walked past the television whilst my uncle and I played FIFA ‘98. I felt smug that she noticed, it was almost justification that we werent wasting our time. 18 years later and I’m still getting excited for certain releases. Yes, things have changed, games aren’t mainly intended for just children/teenagers anymore and more releases are being certified 18+. I have recently returned from seeing “Hardcore Henry”, there was a lot of hype behind this movie. It’s shot from the POV as you would play first person shooter game, almost like Hollywood were saying “Look! We can do it too!” Most of the audience seeing this will be gamers. We know movies based on video games is not a new phenomenon; remember the Super Mario movie in the early nineties starring Bob Hoskins, or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Doom? Unfortunately I do too. Hollywood have unsuccessfully been making live action movies based on video games for decades. But with the advances being made in technology, could gaming outshine movies?
Gaming is not gunning for Hollywood and nor should it. They are different entities, and as far as I know there is no competition. But healthy comparisons could and should be made. Speaking of which, a comparison can be made between gaming and TV shows too, Telltale Studios have gifted us with their fabulous episodic gameplay to our precious gaming world, where your actions do have consequences later on in the game. With the rise in popularity of TV box sets, is this a coincidence? Many other developers are now following in Telltale’s footsteps by creating games with an episodic nature. They’re the virtual equivalent of the ‘chose your own adventure’ books I used to read, this method can also transcend genres depending on how you play. And with VR coming into the fold, who really knows what the future holds for us? Is the boat being rocked now more people are jumping ship? Lets see where we are in another 20 years.
I myself fit the mold of stereotypical 20s bitter male gamer, the least surprising part is that I’m a male, but the average age of a “gamer” is 31, and gender is almost 50/50, so what is the taboo? It’s big business, and can be as big, if not bigger than movies. Grand Theft Auto V brought in $800 within the first 24 hours of being on sale – the money is certainly there. And sure, the development time was probably longer than say Avatar, but I known which one I preferred.
When I was younger, (in my FIFA ’98 days) most households with children contained some kind of a gaming console, and now with our culture changing, and it being cool to be a ‘nerd’ a lot of people have a gaming console of some sort with them most of the time. Wether it be Candy Crush on a mobile phone, or a hand-held console for those moments we use them for instead of talking to other humans. Gaming has become transcendent – it is almost commomplace to see/hear a Hollywood actor in a video game nowadays, a lot of people still assume gaming is aimed at children – when Kevin Spacey lent his acting chops to Call of Duty, and Keifer Sutherland added his voice to Snake in Metal Gear Solid, I doubt a child would care, or even notice – but I did. And why use a Hollywood star? Because they can! And probably to give Troy Baker and Nolan North a week off work.
Now tonight, I will be queuing at midnight at my local gaming shop to purchase my new addiction; Dark Souls. This franchise now I’m in my 20s is what Zelda was to my childhood, and as previously stated, I am still excited.
LETS FINISH WITH SOME MATHEMATICS. (what..?) If tonight there are 50 people with me buying the game tonight we will collectively spend around £/$2,700. Now! If we all went to see “Hardcore Henry” at midnight and we hid snacks in our coats, we would spend around £/$400. See my point? But we may love Hardcore Henry so much we’ll go twice! But more than likely we won’t – we’ll save our money for the Dark Souls 3 DLC.