Major Project #6 - literature and film vs gaming industry
Aktualizacja: maj 26
Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.
In the previous post, I've been writing about how games have incorporated myths into the storylines by adding certain features. We all know that the gaming industry has no boundaries in terms of creativity. Games are being created to supply a certain audience with their needs, creating an interactive experience. This got me thinking. If games can be so flexible and developers get inspiration from different fields, how fields such as literature or film can affect the gaming industry?
There are different levels of video games at which myths manifest and this can be said about literature and film. The list of games that were based on movies or books is infinite. One of the latest production in the fantasy category is for example the Witcher - based on a series of books and Mad Max - inspired by a series of films.
While doing research for this part, I encountered a really interesting question: "Are video games literature?". This is, of course, an abstract scenario but it makes people think. If, or when, a game is basing strictly on a piece of literature, implementing pieces of dialogues and exact locations to the gameplay, can it be still considered the same? I found this article written by Dr Alistair Brown from Durham University who argues "(...) why we play games. Games mimic life: things happen which are unexpected, there are challenges, we make mistakes. At the same time, these mistakes and backward paths are more enjoyable in the context of a game because we know that they must lead somewhere, that as we learn from and overcome those mistakes, we will eventually reach the end that is waiting for us, programmed by a grand designer. Notably, most gamers tell themselves narratives about their own processes of gaming: “I went into the room and shot the baddy by the window but then I got shot by the guy in the dark corner, and so next time I scoped out the room first and got the sneaky guy and then the obvious target.” We rearrange and correct, and the game rewards us eventually with the ending, the completion screen which we strive towards. The often basic structure of games – go here, shoot this, move on – is made out to be a weak point. In fact it can be seen as a generic strength. It enables us to tell ourselves stories which place our actions amid the unexpected threats of a game into a heroic order. The unexpected dangers and frustrating failures along the way are all the more rewarding once we get to the end, and can see how they fitted into the ultimate picture. Thus we game as we read: for the sense of closure." It is a long quote but it gives a clear image of why we do what we do while playing video games. Games are art and to write a good narrative for a game, people need to know different scriptwriting techniques, just like with any other form of a play of the movie.
This research topic is definitely much broader than this post would imply. It's hard to show how these three fields: games, literature, and films, are similar to each other without repeating myself. They all have very similar creative development processes and they all require similar skillset. Arguing that they don't influence each other is pointless as they all want to convey the same thing: experience and entertainment.