Blurring the Line Between Movies and Games

I'd wager that most gamers love going to the movies, and a lot of cinephiles enjoy playing video games when they're not staring at the big screen. The two mediums have been at the forefront of modern entertainment options, but will both remain on top? Perhaps virtual reality will replace films and video games as we know them now. Maybe video games will only be popular if they have augmented reality features. Theaters could all disappear entirely, replaced by streaming. We just can't say for sure what will happen. These are all theories, of course. But let's explore one more: what if films and video games fused into one entity?

While this might seem like a jarring statement, it's really not that unreasonable. We can point to full motion video games, like Night Trap or The Bunker, that offer this kind of experience. While these might have only been cult classics, the potential is there. Think of it like 3D. This technology has come and gone so very many different times over the course of film history. Pull up your local theater's screenings for the week, and you'll almost certainly find at least one film playing in “RealD3D.” While 3D might be a recurring fad, it finds some staying power. Brave game developers try to make FMV games every so often, and many fail, but over time it's entirely possible that they might reach the same sort of status.


I don't say this completely without merit either. There have been many projects in 2017 and 2018 that have tried to meld FMV games with the film industry. One iwas called Late Shift. It was an FMV game (you can find it on Steam), but it was also shown in select theaters. During the screenings of Late Shift, audience members would vote on which actions they wanted the main character to take via a phone app. The entire theater was able to enjoy a collaborative interactive experience. Seven different endings were available, so it's possible that a second viewing could have garnered a different ending.

Late Shift clearly did well enough for itself, because the same app used in its screenings will also be used in an upcoming adaptation of the Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 90's. 21st Century Fox teamed up with the books' publisher, Chooseco, to create the film. With a big name like Fox behind this film project, it's possible that we might be reaching into RealD3D territory. Perhaps the Choose Your Own Adventure films will be so popular, other big names in the industry will try something similar. Imagine going to a Disney film with your children, young relatives, and siblings, watching them revel at the control they have over the experience.

5-4-18 OPINION Choose Your Own Adventure Rusty Lake.jpg

Interactive films and FMV games are only one side of this potential blended medium. There is also the possibility that some films might be made that directly influence video games. Sure, video game adaptations of films get a bad rap. But take a look at something like the Rusty Lake project. This is a game and film that are being made at the same time. The game will have plenty of connections to the film (including exactly the same environments), and the film will reveal secrets that can be used in the game. What if these types of games replace the currently lamented film adaptation titles?

All of this adds up to some very interesting thought processes. Will FMV games become the norm? Will interactive films be in theaters on the regular? Or will we see games that tie directly into films, with extra enjoyment handed out to those who enjoy both? We can't know for sure, but it's fun to consider. What do you think?

April Marie
April Marie

Contributing Writer
Date: 05/09/2018

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