Friday, November 24, 2006

Video games into movies

Media integration is no news. Boundaries between different media (video game, movie, book, tv, radio...) are flexible. Popular book are made into movies and movies formulated into books. Video game has been a marginal form of entertainment but as you can see, the number of video games put into movies is increasing. A common claim has been that movie based video games are equal to bad movies. I agree that it is a challenge to put straightforward games such as Mortal Kombat into a movie. The game is all about "Fight!" "K.O.!" Who would like to experience that ~2 hours without the ability to interact?

Currently the brand matters not a media format. Harry Potter is the thing. The original "format" of the idol is a by-matter. Harry Potter is a protagonist, movie star, hero, character in a book, miniture figure, idol, ... All in one. Thus it is interesting to follow the discussion of Doubutsu no mori (Animal Crossing) movie (will be showing in cinemas in Dec06 in Japan). People seem to have rather negative views of movies based on video games. "Why to make a movie of Animal Crossing?" "If not adapted it will be a boring one" etc. I agree that some video game movies have been rather weak ones causing low sales figures.

Maybe I am still charmed by Totoro but for me Animal Crossing - The Movie doesn't seem to be that far fetched idea. The game gives quite a bit of possibilities for the story (movie) and because this is an animated film the authors do not have similar challenges as the producers of Tomb Raider movie. If you don't remember, there was a lot of talk about choosing the perfect Lara Croft look-a-like heroire, an actress not too known but perhaps not too unknown either who will come up with the goods. Whatever the truth it is interesting to see what type of audience will go to see Animal Crossing the movie. And do they promote the movie as "based on a video game"? Who cares anymore?

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