George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg state that video games can’t tell stories and don’t create characters that we can care about.
Recently, George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg spoke at an event celebrating the opening of a new School of Cinematic Arts building at USC. During that event, both spoke about the “implosion” of the film industry and how television might just be the new medium to tell a story.
However, it is this (taken from The Hollywood Reporter) that disturbs me the most::
Lucas and Spielberg also spoke of vast differences between filmmaking and video games because the latter hasn’t been able to tell stories and make consumers care about the characters.
This is a rather typical opinion from people who have no knowledge of video games, either past or current. They have also not played a lot of games, either in the past or recently. For example, Mass Effect, a video game, had such a controversial ending that players tried to sue BioWare, the game’s developer, over it. When is the last time that Hollywood created a movie that involved fans to the point that they nearly rioted over it?
Or what about the tears shed over the loss of Aerith in Final Fantasy VII? Seriously, just thinking about that scene still gets me upset. Or thinking about little Clementine in The Walking Dead – just oh!
Video games can’t make us care about the characters? I just recently finished Remember Me and the ending touched me in a way that a film hasn’t in a long time. I bawled my eyes out after completing Dragon Age where Alistair died. But the beauty of that over a film is that I could re-play that scene where he didn’t die, thereby changing the outcome to my own character dying, which was equally as heart-wrecking.
In fact, speaking of BioWare titles, I would go so far to say that games like that take the immersive experience one step further. You can’t make choices in a movie, but you can in a game. And that makes the gaming even better and creates players who care even more about what happens in the story than ever in a film.
I could go on to name many other games that have the emotional depth that Hollywood claims doesn’t exist in games: The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Cognition, Heavy Rain, BioShock Infinite, Dishonored, etc., etc., etc.
The article also goes on to say that Spielberg is working to create a television show for Halo and is making a movie about Need For Speed. Because you know, those two games are known for their story (not). Anyway, yes, I rest my case.
What do you think? Do you think video games create environments about characters and stories that you care about? If so, share your favorites in the comments.