This second part of the argument for video game films (read part 1 here
) focuses on the difference between the viewers and the gamers themselves. Why do gamers ignore this film genre and those who produce these films, particularly Uwe Boll
The gaming community has developed a strong air of snobbery for their medium, therefore it is only natural they should be miffed about cross-media translations. This disgust should be a feeling most fans of literature and comics/graphic novels should empathize with; after all, they suffer from the same occasional heinous translations that murder the original intent of the narrative. Yes, video games have narratives. That is the same reaction we are talking about. If you are reading this and you are a gamer, you are following the argument. If you are not, which means that your only exposure to the world of video games are merely second-hand film translations, you are scoffing at the idea that a video game has a narrative structure and deeper meaning on the same level as the books and/or films you love and enjoy.
Want to complicate this further? Literature and film are considered to have artistic value (not all, but some). It took film roughly 40 years to be considered art, and the same struggle is at hand with gamers. The division for them is entertainment versus art. Most still believe the main function for video games is entertainment. While it is true that entertainment is the genesis of the medium, it has also evolved. Now, with titles like 'Flower' and 'BioShock' among others, video games are making the same developments into the categorization of artistic moving images. So why haven't they been represented positively as a whole on film?
Uwe Boll, a director who has at this point been panned across the board and has managed to become shunned by all in and out of the film industry, is responsible for a good amount of the video game film translations. The flack he has deservingly received has also dirtied the genre for most. His negative attention (there are large scale petitions trying to stop him from continuing to direct and write) has become one of the larger reasons for the ostracization of the genre as a whole by gamers.
People, gamers and non-gamers alike, need to see the larger picture. The video game genre is deeper than its surface image correlated to Boll. The first part of this piece used the example of 'Silent Hill
' to prove this point with a film based on a video game. But there is a wider evolution of this sleeper genre.
The heroes saving this film genre from complete and utter annihilation at the hands of mega-villain Boll include Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, creators of the 'Crank
' series and 'Gamer'. They are the poster filmmakers of a new subgenre branch, films with a video game aesthetic. These films are still enjoyable to watch while also being a new and more improved branch of their genre, bringing cinematography and narrative to a significant cinematic and cultural level. Instead of treating these films like mindless action blockbusters that are only worth their weight in the amount of buttery popcorn you consume at the theater, we are asking you to broaden your mind and erase genre stereotypes. What do you think about video game-inspired films? Let us know in the comments!
Image © Lions Gate Entertainment
Story by Sarah Lafferty
Starpulse contributing writer
Follow Sarah on twitter at starbuckscout