First, take a look at this compilation that BoingBoing made of deaths from classic video games, set to a midi version of “Mad World.”
Now ask yourself, how does this make me feel? Nostalgic? Sentimental? Sad? Bored?
I’ve been noticing something lately. Video games have changed us. I have, in the past, even used video games as an example of how to tell simple stories (Mario tries to save Princess, tries again, tries again, beat bad guy, The End) versus telling stories with different focuses (in games like “Fallout 3” or “Bioshock” plots and sub-plots abound and unfold through playing, but not in classic linear fashion).
While I’ve long been a believer in the power video games have to tell stories in unique ways, it’s clear that video game storytelling is starting to effect changes in other story-telling genres. (Minor spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen these movies…)
Primarily, of course, are movies. Most obviously, and in my opinion to the best effect, has been in both book and film versions of “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”
And while the trailer makes it clear enough, the movie involves even more video game story-telling tropes and images, most interesting for me was that the death/defeat of any of Ramona’s evil-exes results in coins. Because what else would happen?
One of the more interesting aspects of “Suckerpunch,” for me was that when Baby Doll goes to beat her first big villains, that look like three dudes who easily could have fit into a “Soul Caliber” game, the way she beat them was classic video game. She hit them in the joints, in the head, and they lit up in ways that had me wanting to mash buttons violently.
My question is, does everybody get this? How much of our society, like me, can pick out video game influenced choices like these big boss fights? And, how much of our society is still just seeing movie theater fight scene?
I mean no judgment by it, I honestly don’t. But let’s answer this question together, is this a question of a video-game “knowing” vs. not “knowing” viewer? Or is the language of video games embedded into our culture that you need not ever have played a video game to get these cues. While that may be true with “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” as it was over the top and obvious… maybe this was a subtlety that I didn’t give “Suckerpunch”?
Also, any other examples? Let me hear about it!
On the other side of this story, if you’re interested, the following video is a great history/summary of storytelling in video games and the problems they run up against…