Is Gaming Ready for the Mainstream?
Assassin's Creed Origins

Those of us that can't remember a time when we weren't playing video games share a love of game culture. Not only do we enjoy the games we play, those we play them with, and those that we can discuss them with, we also love the every other element that surrounds them. This comes in the form of merchandise or other forms of media. I love me a Pokemon plushie just as much as I love a new movie based on the game franchise. Frankly I don't care if I'm one of the few adults in the theater without a child in tow, I'll go watch the newest Pokemon movies anyway.

I know for a fact that I'm not the only one that feels this way. Even people who are on the fringes of game culture enjoy the moves to other media. My dad only got into console gaming hardcore within the last five years or so with the Xbox One. Even still, he recognizes the name Assassin's Creed from anywhere. When he saw a trailer and heard the news that an Assassin's Creed film was being made, he immediately reached out to me. Even though he hadn't played any of the games himself yet, he knew I had. He was excited by proxy for the film. 

Similar things happen across the world when a popular franchise pops up in a different form of media. A big one now is of course esports. Fans of popular online games are seeing their favorite familiar sights on big screens at massive tournaments like the Call of Duty Experience. This is only going to get more and more common as big titles like Overwatch and League of Legends do even more in the esports sphere. League of Legends is entering the reality TV realm with an Australian show called The Next Gamer. The show will ultimately decide one lucky winner to become the newest member of a League of Legends league team.

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There have even been game shows based on some of the most bizarre video game concepts. A recent example is a CBS show called Candy Crush. Yup, it's a game show with larger than life challenges based on the popular mobile game. Mario López hosts the show where players compete, some even playing Candy Crush from a harness tens of feet into the air. It's not doing very well as far as ratings are concerned, but it's proof that video games are and will continue to make their way into other forms of media.

With more and more television shows and major motion pictures coming out that are related to, inspired by, or based on video games, it raises a crucial question. Will games begin to take over mainstream pop culture? Even more people every day that wouldn't call themselves gamers are being exposed to video game s. If they're not playing , then they are seeing them on their television sets, on the big screen when they go to the theater, or in novels. Just like any other genre, video game media will see it's peaks and lows of success. But maybe, just maybe, video game media can become its own mainstream genre.

Relatively simultaneous releases of video game content across media streams could only boost the industry. If Bethesda had released a Fallout 4 film, novel, and maybe even a tv series at the same time as the game, you can bet I would have eaten it up. And I guarantee many of you would agree with me. What if that is the future we are headed for? What if you can have your cake and eat it too?  

Assassin's Creed Origins

Personally, I hope this happens. I would love to watch a film based on the BioShock: Infinite universe, then go home and enjoy the same or similar locations for myself in the game. And if there was a novel, or a comic book series in a similar vein to enjoy at the same time? You bet I would read it. I know this for a fact, since I was already reading many of the Mass Effect comic books while I was still playing the original trilogy. Add in a television series or a film, and I would have been the happiest of campers.

Would you like to see a future where video games inspire even more other forms of media than they already do? Maybe one where a game and other forms of media tied to it release at the same or similar times? A world where we can watch a film, read a comic book, play the game, and enjoy a television series all in the same universe? Let me hear your rallying cries in the comments below! Or boos, if this doesn't sound awesome to you. I'm always open to hearing those thoughts too.

April Marie
April Marie
@Legiodith

Contributing Writer
Date: 08/09/2017

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