Lucas and Spielberg Insult Video Games

Lucas and Spielberg Insult Video Games

Lucas and Spielberg Insult Video Games

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.

  • Will

    They obviously have no real clue about the emotional impact games have on us. I cried after finishing my harsh and enduring adventure of the Walking Dead, and became awestrucken with emotion at the climax to Metal Gear Solid 3. I actually shed a tear at the ending of MGS4 before the real ending came in. They’re too caught up in their own mediums to really give games as a medium much thought…

    • http://www.fangirlconfessions.com Robin Burks

      Clementine is one of the best characters in any medium, I would argue. The Walking Dead is better than anything either of these two directors has put out in years.

      • Will

        I agree. Her existence and the attachment I developed to her made me feel like she was MY responsibility.

      • JAFFMAN

        Lucas and Spielberg have had their time and place and a big THANKS for that.

        I’m in my mid 30′s and grew up with their movies but would never exchange all my happy hours gaming for all the Indiana Jones and Star Wars in the world!

  • Xen

    Two words: Mass Effect. People had so much of a connection to the characters that because the ending wasn’t all happy pitch forks and rage was created. Of course they’re going to say stuff like that. They’re old and only appreciate “true classics” like Shakespeare and Dickens etc. Games are for children to them.

    • Will

      Amen.

    • http://www.fangirlconfessions.com Robin Burks

      Exactly, fans tried to sue BioWare over it. I can’t think of a film that has ever had that impact on people.

      • Jess

        Well it was false advertising…just saying.

    • Jess

      Well it wasn’t that the ending wasn’t “all happy”, it was that it contradicted the previous two games, rendered all choice pointless, did not fit with the themes of the games, made no sense, etc. there were many, many reasons that the ending to that game did and still sucks.

  • Orange Lada

    I’d suggest that Lucas and Spielberg play Journey ….. and see just how much emotional involvement that games provide, and tell us whether they cared about their character afterwards.

  • Taylor

    Everyone has their niche, these guy’s niche(s?) are movies. Not everyone is like you, some people get invested in books but can’t get invested in anything else. I personally don’t feel a thing when a character dies in a video game, it’s a choice made by the creator to advance the story and I respect their integrity, but I’ll cry like a bitch if a dog dies in a movie.

    tl;dr: They’re ignorant, but if you’re upset about it it’s your problem.

    • MetroAndroid

      I understand that they can have their own opinions… But this is literally a fact. We KNOW that a lot of people feel very attached to characters and feel more involved in the stories and interaction of games. They’re trying to say that doesn’t exist, that everything we’ve ever felt is a lie, and that’s where I draw the line. This goes beyond ignorance because a lot of people will believe anything they say as law and never look at games the way I’d like us to. The way the masses look at movies and say “This has so much value; I learned a lot; I feel I have a new perspective on life now,” when a video game is all that and so much more…

  • Piet

    Lucas and Spielgerg talk about stuff they dont even know about? What else is new? Cant create chars we care about? Who the fuck cares about Indiana Jones? Cant tell storries? Strong words for an director who have stolen like 90% of its star wars Franchise from frank herberts dune lol

  • manc

    Games not just about shooting but about characters people care about, maybe like the adventure games lucasarts actually used to make?

  • Zach Jones

    I think they have confused video games with their movies!!

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  • TheDocMontalban

    Well at least video games never raped Indiana Jones.

  • herbspeidel

    Couple of old farts who don’t know a thing about games…why would thier opinions carry any weight at all?

  • lt.dan

    I’m pretty sure that the gaming community is the most outspoken community out there.

    • http://www.fangirlconfessions.com Robin Burks

      I think you’re probably right, judging from the comments this article has received.

  • plsburydoughboy

    Huh. You guys seem to forget these two have both been involved in making games. Spielberg is actually credited as a developer for Bloom Blox, and was crucial in the development of the Kinect (and still is). Lucas’ company had a game division before many of you reading this were even born. He helped created the industry.

    I take an opposite view: you can disagree but have to respect their opinion about movies and video games. You also have to consider their background in video games, and what they perceive have been their successes and failures on it, and how that informed their opinion. Finally, special consideration needs to be made for the fact that they are veterans in Hollywood and know how to make successful blockbusters. They have some authority to make value judgements on video games, especially the ones that have been trying to emulate movies.

    • JaiGuru

      Eh, owning the studio and being involved with the work are two very different things. Lucas Games had their moments, but not many. And frankly the words coming out of Spielberg’s mouth should scare the hell out of any Xbox One pre-purchacees. They deserve no consideration. They’ve squandered their talent and run the course of their useful life span. I’ll always sing the praises of their early careers. But they have entered Simpsons Mode here. It’s time for them to go away.

  • dirkradke

    For a couple of smart guys they seem to have a really big blind spot.

  • Shawn

    Coming from 2 guys who’s characters I haven’t cared about in years.

  • Geoffrey Davey

    I know these games are old, but you might wanna toss a spoiler warning before some of this.

    • JaiGuru

      FFVII? Nah, the statute of limitations is up on that. Aerith dies. If you didn’t know you never will.

      • Geoffrey Davey

        Lol, fair enough. But Dragon Age and Walking Dead are a little more recent.

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  • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

    Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite is more fleshed out than that Star Wars shit.
    Old Timers.

    • JaiGuru

      Yeah, Star Wars has some of the worst character development and dialogue of any movie series I’ve ever seen. It took an entire trilogy to develop the characterization of the first third of a good movie. Great action sequences though. Not too many SFX movies from that long ago are still particularly watchable. Credit where it’s due. Oh and Jurassic Park! Holy hell at a popsicle stand; every time ANY actor opened their mouth in that movie just made my skin crawl.

  • XBONE_FanBoi

    Whoever wrote this article is seriously gay. Crying over a game….Its not even real you moron. Those characters aren’t actually people. Dude, did you cry over pacman when he got eaten?

    • http://www.fangirlconfessions.com Robin Burks

      Hello, troll.

    • Daniel Curtis

      Yes, actually I did cry when Pacman got eaten, thank you very much.

  • Phil

    Halo is VERY WELL know for it’s story you douche…although I wouldn’t say it’s emotionally captivating, certainly not to the level MS and 343 seem to think it is. Need for Speed…yeah, way to go Speilberg!

    I don’t know why you had to go for that headline as well (needing some hits I guess) they didn’t “insult” video games, they simply expressed their (flawed) opinion. In all fairness, a lot of games fall behind the mark of a successful narrative, there is still a lot of ground that could be covered, but there are still many games story that are engaging.

    But as for their opinion…maybe I would consider it if someone like Nolan or Blomkamp had said it, they’ve earned my respect. I shouldn’t need to mention what Lucas has contributed to story telling in the last 15 years. and let’s not forget that Spielberg put his name on those atrocious Transformer films…the original 1984 Transformers movie cartoon had more emotional depth then the recent films, so yeah Spielberg/Lucas, if anyone knows anything about rubbish stories, it’ll be you two. They’re both aged veterans who were revolutionary in their time, but have failed to progress they’re story telling techniques, mostly because they’re techniques are superficial and universally appealing, hence they can appeal to everyone and make lot’s of dosh (which regrettably people automatically take as “success”) the only reason they’re still making films is because of the money they’re earned from their previous hits. Neither of them try to communicate a personal message that’s relevant to the world, they just follow the same tired techniques because “it works”.

    • http://www.fangirlconfessions.com Robin Burks

      Your argument would be more valid if you had not resorted to name calling. But you are right about Spielberg/Lucas – they’re hardly relevant anymore.

      • Phil

        Sorry, I’ve been a bit wired up the over the last couple of weeks, the “douche” bit was meant in a more banta-ish tone.

  • JAFFMAN

    John Marston death in Red Dead Redemption was manly but very emotional. And I nearly cried my little eyes out when I completed Dark Souls.

    We have been spoon fed emotion in movies our life but video-gaming is putting control into the hands of the holder! People need to think for themselves, if anyone ever tells you anything regarding these things its always biased, why should video games be compared to movies anyway, they don’t need to be amalgamated!

  • filipakos kurosanji

    I played crisis core after knowing zack is going to die in the end and everytime he was talking about going back and speak with aerith and i knew that he wont make it back in time to meet her that fucked me up emotionaly

  • mike

    Guys, just make your movies, and shut up.

  • Forever Alone gamer

    Never cryied with Star Wars.. I did cry with MGS and others.. so you tell me who can or can’t make rellatable characters

  • Forever Alone gamer

    they are just OLD

  • IncognitoGeek

    Maybe they’ve seen too many Uwe Boll movies….

  • Jeremiah Paolo Mance

    two words.. ARROGANT IGNORANTS!!
    they’re so full of their self.. congratulations for creating geeks and freaks.

  • Adam Redgrave Leen

    Hmm, let me see. There is Shadow of the Colossus, MGS4, DMC3, LoZ Majoras Mask, FF6, Halo Reach and Xenoblade. Lucas and Spielburg should dp some research.

  • CeeJ

    Yeah, kinda spoiled The Walking Dead for me there haha. But yes I played FF7, and – as you know by your main photo choice for the article – that game is enough. These two legends of film don’t know about video games.

  • srbharris

    Had anyone here ever play any Pokemon Mystery Dungeons (Gates to Infinity for example?)

    For an adolescent game, the stories and lessons are really strong, sometimes with depressing moments and even moments that you could really connect to. Nearly every Pokemon they used as NPC had strong personalities. I was never expecting this out of any Pokemon game.

  • Bret Hudson

    The difference with games and movies is that you watch a movie, witness their life, and see events unfold. With a game you are the character(s), you lead them through the events that happen and in the end can no longer control that character because their story has ended or they’ve died.

    • http://www.fangirlconfessions.com Robin Burks

      I see that as an advantage over movies because if you ARE the character, you have a greater chance of becoming emotionally invested in his/her story.

  • Clattus

    The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull vs. FF7, haha. These two, especially Lucas have created shallow stories and characters in several movies. Hardly the authorities on this type of topic.

    They should have insinuated “usually” instead of “always.”

  • Christa

    Every single storyline in Final Fantasy 6. I would go into detail but it would be several paragraphs long. That game’s characters were more inspirational to me than any movie or television character I can remember from the ’90s. The same goes for Chrono Trigger.

    Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. That game was all about story. The only reason I even played through all the adventure/puzzle elements was to find out more about Gabriel’s ancestors and nightmares. The ancestor love story and the parallel to Gabriel’s present-day relationship were insane.

    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I got pissed off in real life when your friends betray you early in the story. Why would I get mad? Aren’t they just video game characters in some violent car theft game? But at that point, after immersing yourself in all the missions and all the cut scenes and working side-by-side with those characters, it feels pretty personal.

    Dragon Quest 5. You spend the whole first part of the game as this little boy idolizing his dad and following him around on adventures, then the dad dies and the kid gets captured as a slave. It’s like getting stabbed in the back of the neck by Japanese video game writers.

    E.T. That game made me cry because I was little and couldn’t figure out how to make it fun. No game has ever made me feel that way before.

    • http://www.fangirlconfessions.com Robin Burks

      I love that you mentioned a Gabriel Knight game. I loved all three games and felt very invested in Gabriel (as well as Grace).

    • JaiGuru

      lol @ the ET comment. But yes, the trick that many older people don’t seem to understand is that video games are not analogous to movies. I have had intense feelings for characters that didn’t speak a single line of dialogue because they were the playable character and purposely made to be silent so they could be an “everyman”. A well written game with good play mechanics allows you the freedom to invest yourself into the character actively, where as a book or movie is a purely passive behavior. I have no say in the outcome of MacBeth. But the Dragonborn’s fate was mine to craft.

  • RW

    I’ve gotta say, I’ve felt way more emotionally invested in the characters and storylines of video games than I do with movies. Not just because I’m taking the role as the character, but because I spend more time with them than I do in movies. The Walking Dead, Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid 3, Fatal Frame (both 2 and 3) all hold something near and dear to me that no movie could ever capture… let alone any of the crap that Spielberg and Lucas have churned out these days.

    Eh, let them squabble.

    • JaiGuru

      The trick with that is while Lucas squandered his industry clout by trying to strong arm digital mediums into theaters and live sets before their peers were really ready for it, people still listen in Hollywood when Spielberg speaks. He may have become a hack director but he’s still probably the best networked man in that town and has immense pull. A guy this backwards concerning the new medium and his native legacy mediums calling the shots isn’t good for anybody.

  • Freesun4

    Good work, Lucas and Spilberg. You first insult Hollywood with the worst prequels and sequels of all time and now you are insulting games (Not to mention how you insult fans with this).

    Okay so list of good stories in games I can say (Final Fantasy from 4 to 10, all Personas, Metal Gear series, The Walking Dead, The Last of Us, Mortal Kombat 2011, etc)

    • JaiGuru

      It’s really sad watching these two guys fade into cinematic irrelevancy. Though it may be hard to remember, especially for younger people, but both Spielberg and Lucas were once brilliant directors. They played a big role in rejuvenating film in their youth. They have got a horrid case of Simpsons Syndrome now. Long past their prime but just don’t know enough to quit.

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  • eBunny

    Both media are great in their own right, they both serve their own purpose, but saying that ‘video games can’t tell stories or create characters that we care about’ is just ignorant and obviously comes from someone who doesn’t know a lot about games and/or doesn’t have a lot of experience with them. If these people truly believe that I feel sorry for them.

    I mean I definitely try to be open minded and look outside of this gaming bubble, which I kind of learned from Jonathan Blow, but even then games still remain these amazing, emotional, inspirational, fun, relaxing and unforgettable experiences.

    I can see where people like them and my parents are coming from and it’s fine and understandable, I just happened to grow up with games, like many others, though unlike many more and am very happy for that.

    It’s funny how the age or how famous and praised someone might be doesn’t say anything about their intelligence. I mean this is pretty obvious but sometimes I just start to believe that when someone is well known, that person is automatically intelligent in some way.

    Anyway I know that was pretty off-topic, the point is that Halo is actually quite well known for it’s story :)

  • eBunny

    Both media are great in their own right, they both serve their own purpose, but saying that ‘video games can’t tell stories or create characters that we care about’ is just ignorant and obviously comes from someone who doesn’t know a lot about games and/or doesn’t have a lot of experience with them. If these people truly believe that I feel sorry for them.

    I mean I definitely try to be open minded and look outside of this gaming bubble, which I kind of learned from Jonathan Blow, but even then games still remain these amazing, emotional, inspirational, fun, relaxing and unforgettable experiences.

    I can see where people like them and my parents are coming from and it’s fine and understandable, I just happened to grow up with games, like many others, though unlike many more and am very happy for that.

    It’s funny how the age or how famous and praised someone might be doesn’t say anything about their intelligence. I mean this is pretty obvious but sometimes I just start to believe that when someone is well known, that person is automatically intelligent in some way.

    Anyway I know that was pretty off-topic, the point is that Halo is actually quite well known for it’s story :)

  • PickaLike

    “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)”

    Are you kidding me?…Halo has no story? wow dude…

    Halo does have a great story and goes pretty deep into the universe, mainly in the books…you obviously have no clue about Halo..

    ….. :/

  • Danny Høy

    Who cares what they have to say about video games anyway? Lucas sold out in the worst way possible, when he sold all his shit to Disney, and Spielberg has never, as far as I can remember, been relevant to the gaming industry in any way, shape or form.

    Let the two tossers blabber as the wish, they don’t matter.

  • shirox11 .

    well with there generation they have probably never played some of the more stry driven games. look at the last of us that game had a story better then any movie i have seen in years

  • Seth Camento

    Try playing the whole Metal Gear Solid Series and tell us that again.

  • JaiGuru

    Hell I even got misty over the way Twilight Princess ended. How wonderful that this washed up has been is working with Xbox to develop interactive content then. Yes, hire the guy who doesn’t understand point one about video games to make video game content. This will surely never bite us in the ass.

  • http://www.tecnogaming.com/ Alex Vojacek

    No real clue! WHATSOEVER. I cried when I finished Dragon Age, the characters are MORE beliavable than either spielberg or lucas films, by a long mile. This guys have their ego running, besides, spielberg was seen playing Battlefield 4 on the E3 so, probably he needs to play another kind of games to get the feel of “character development”.

  • http://www.tecnogaming.com/ Alex Vojacek

    I too felt touched by the Remember Me ending, I hear you brother, although the game had is bad handling of gameplay sometimes, the story and character development was top notch, the ending was majestic.

  • Chris Muriel

    I completely agree. I find it surprising and discouraging that people as renowned and important, people that know what it’s like to break a paradigm would say something so discouraging and untrue. Yes, the video game industry might be newer than the movie industry. However, it has managed in a very short period of time to explore and evolve in the most interesting of ways. New genres continue to appear and with each new release, a new character comes to life and takes a special place in the players’ hearts.

    This comes to prove that no matter how great we manage to be one day, one must not judge industries that are unfamiliar. I admire both Lucas and Spielberg, yet their comments shock and sadden me at the same time. So little faith in our industry coming from such grand innovators…

    Best,
    Chris Muriel
    http://www.chrismuriel.com

  • Chris Muriel

    I completely agree. I find it surprising and discouraging that people as renowned and important, people that know what it’s like to break a paradigm would say something so discouraging and untrue. Yes, the video game industry might be newer than the movie industry. However, it has managed in a very short period of time to explore and evolve in the most interesting of ways. New genres continue to appear and with each new release, a new character comes to life and takes a special place in the players’ hearts.

    This comes to prove that no matter how great we manage to be one day, one must not judge industries that are unfamiliar. I admire both Lucas and Spielberg, yet their comments shock and sadden me at the same time. So little faith in our industry coming from such grand innovators…

    Best,
    Chris Muriel
    http://www.chrismuriel.com

  • Joe Lockwood

    They obviously haven’t played the last of us… That game was an emotional roller coaster! Good games immerse you in the world so you have to make choices, which in my opinion, makes you care about the characters more in a way.
    But yeah, I can’t imagine them playing any games anyway, so they wouldn’t ever know!

  • Lucasisdumb

    Wow for someone who creates stories they sure are closed minded lol

  • Chris Powell

    i cried at the ending of Nier if you done the multiple plays you have the option to sacrifice your self to save your daughter (this involves having everything deleted down to the game save).

  • Mackenzie Lambert

    Another example of Hollywood’s slandering of video game culture. It started with the Super Mario Bros. movie and continues today with crappy adaptations or insulting depictions like in Gamer.

  • Jack

    These guys better get with the program. Video games are very important to future generations. I can say that I’ve been more touched by video games than movies. They can deny it all they want, but when it comes time to satisfy future fans….. Evolve and adapt to survive, mother*******.

  • Max Schlesinger

    I’ve never had any connection with any movie character ever, and never really liked anything made by these 2 “highly praised” film makers.
    On the other hand, I love so many game characters from so many games that, it would take me long time mentioning them all.
    Video games have changed the way I live and think of this world.

  • Rennan Willian

    Players don’t care to the character in video games? Man when i create my character in Dark Souls i nearly go crazy all the times i died otherwise put me in front of a horror film. I don’t give a shit about the characters who died unless they have great boobs. Spielberg and Lucas, go play Metal Gear Solid 4.

  • Jake West

    The Last of Us.

    End of discussion.

  • Papa Otter

    How twisted a statement from Lucas? He couldnt even make us care about characters we waited 16 years to find out about!

  • Dullahan

    Remember Final Fantasy 7?

    As a guy that was 16 and didn’t usually get emotional during movies, I cried when Aeris died. In fact, I was sad over it for days, moreso than any movie I’ve ever seen in my life.

    What an ignorant statement.

  • Kenny Zangelin

    Well when did Spielberg or Lucas last make a film anyone cared for the characters in? Very relevant for these guys to talk about that when they haven’t been able to do anything remotely good in 20 years.

  • Jeremy Comans

    Well luckily we have those two geniuses of storytelling coming to save gaming with their cross-overs. Seriously, George, you haven’t made a worthwhile contribution to story-telling in your industry in decades.

  • Luke Elliot

    While some games can get emotions right (and I mean that, Mass Effect and Dragon Age are great means of storytelling) overall most games are to interested in getting a quick money grab (I’m looking at you COD). The same can be said for film but that’s had about 90-100 years to develop while games have had about 15 years to be a big business. Remember films started off as slapstick and games as a way to keep a kid entertained for 5 hours. Films got better after a few decades but it is taking longer for games. Probably because it’s poster child is Call of Duty, which is a shallow, violent game. If Hollywood’s biggest films was something like Transformers then films would have a similar reputation to games at the moment.

  • Verd
  • Rin Okumura

    What do you expect old men to say anyway? They’ll be in a retirement home soon. They probably haven’t touched games since the Atari.

  • Jalen

    Chrono Cross, although not known by most people is one of the most emotional games I’ve ever played. Seeing every joke, every reference to the predecessor touched my heart to unbelievable levels. To listen to the guy who had e.t. Go home say that video games have bland characters makes me think, people who know nothing should say nothing.

  • Pokletu

    This coming from a guy that thinks that a novel about galactic intrigue
    and epic space battles should be interpreted and modeled after World War
    2 dogfighting mechanics, and creating Jarjar Binks as a central storytelling figure.

  • TheBaldNinja

    I can understand George Lucas’ disrespect toward video games to a point. Look at the games his studios have put out. What he doesn’t understand though, is that not every company that makes games sucks as bad as LucasArts. (I don’t know that that’s even possible.)

  • Mateo C.

    I loved the Remember Me ending as well. And games can tell a story just as well as movies can. Video games have affected me with memorable characters and stories way more than movies ever have.