After simultaneously being responsible for some of the film industry’s most impressive achievements, and its most trash films of all time, snob-extraordinaire Steven Spielberg and tax-evasion sell-out George Lucas have decided that they learned nothing from the words of the now passed Roger Ebert. After failing to keep the interest of the film community at large (or in Lucas case failing to pay his taxes after the ‘financial cliff’ and instead opting to sell off Star Wars to Disney) the two film legends have decided to consider moving on to television as their new medium.
Most notably, Steven Spielberg is riding the coattails of one of the video games industry’s most successful franchises of all time by creating the Halo television series which will debut exclusively on Microsoft’s next-generation video game console and entertainment platform the Xbox ONE. But that didn’t stop him from jumping in with George Lucas (creator of the entire Star Wars universe, though not the owner of any of it) from defaming the entire video game industry with comments of exorbitant ignorance and hypocritical thinking only achievable by the most mentally disturbed, insane of human beings.
At the opening to the School of Cinematic Arts the two filmmakers claimed “video games can’t tell a story”, “can’t create characters we care about”, and that essentially they are not “Art”. Despite the increasingly trash films that their industry is putting out and the failure to match the revenue of the video games industry, the two feel that it just simply isn’t the happening thing. Rather than talk about something positive and something that they actually know about, the two yammered on as if just to hear the sound of their own voices as they continued to slander the industry they have both seen immense profits from through various avenues.
Rather than continue taking shots back however, allow me to explain why these two guys (bless them) are wrong, and hopefully if they end up reading this and actually acknowledging it within their mental stratosphere of self-important thinking it could even impact their future views and beliefs regarding the incredible video games industry which has not only surpassed film in revenues but also is actually more art than film will ever be.
You may be wondering, what is he going on about? Games are certainly a respectable art, but more art than film? Has this guy lost it?
The fact is that in order to digest a film, you are constantly barraged with subliminal principles and perceptions of reality woven between the lines of the action taking place during the piece. In other words, if you want to be able to enjoy a film you have to be able to accept that “it’s just a film” and ignore any complete failures the filmmakers behind it have made in drawing parallels between the film and reality. In other words, if I say something but in order to even contemplate what I had said you’d have to first accept certain things for the sake of argument, than that is automatically a perspective-based discussion which does not take into account all possibilities of a situation. Film does this which is why it’s inferior to video games at storytelling. Video games are quantum in nature, so they are capable of telling the story better as they can encompass multiple perspectives of any given scenario therefore allowing for a more alive, complex, deep, meaningful, and most importantly realistic story.
For example, in many films we see characters existing in a world like AVATAR where we see two sides to their struggle. There’s the side which most humans end up on which is an invader attitude that they have a right to conquer this planet that they’ve stumbled upon, and there’s the side which most of the aliens on that planet believe in which is that the natural order must be sacred. In order to even watch this film correctly, you have to accept that it’s “just a film” and therefore 98% of the characters are going to fall into one of those two categories. But that’s not really how it works in real life. In real life we are all individuals, there are millions if not trillions of ways that you can perceive a given situation and as such we would all fall into our own individual and unique category about how we felt about things until meeting with each other’s thoughts in community discussion to express those.
Film is incapable of expressing this given its small scope, short runtimes, and lack of interactivity. The viewer is submitted to watching these two sides play out their struggle for dominance, without ever being presented with a look at some of the other perceptions the characters might have. This lack of depth has been addressed, and thanks to games like the Mass Effect series we are actually now seeing how the storytelling process is going to be changed forever thanks to video games. It’s becoming to the point where virtual reality will absolutely replace film and video games (read: eventually, in the long term) and the storytelling of each experience will be completely individual-based with no preset caveats or doctrines being forced down your throat in order to understand or appreciate a scene. Instead the evolution of entertainment we are experiencing, which has already started to take place thanks to video games, sees the world filled with an ever-increasing number of perspectives which can be felt leading to infinitely more deep characters and experiences that are capable of representing the human emotion and existence on astronomically more impressive levels than film could ever dream of.
I humbly await the response of gamers, film fans, and entertainment lovers / creators worldwide if you see it worthy to debate this issue further. If this article receives little to no response I will assume that we are all in agreement that film could never come close to the storytelling possible with video games.