Video games are better than movies because you can smash a head against a wall instead of passively watching a head get smashed.

I’ve been running through all three Gods of War. The opening sequence and level was insanely epic. Cut through a swathe of undead, ride a titan to the top of Mount Olympus, rip Greek god Poseidon out of a giant water horse crab’s heart, then twist his neck, causing an atomic explosion that raises the ocean.

Epic.

The visual style of the above sequence is similar to Zack Snyder’s 300. Slow motion violence set on Greek battlefields. I love both. I love both film and video games. Recently, however, video games have mounted a serious assault on my free time, leaving DVDs and BluRays in the dust collecting around my TV stand.

I first noticed how involving and cinematic games have become playing the Metal Gear series. By Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, cut-scenes were the reward for difficult game play. Thirty minute sequences weren’t uncommon, and I relished every minute of them. Top tier games are becoming a hybrid of inventive gameplay and high-end animation – animation that, cut together, forms a film I’d watch even without the interaction.

But I get to interact with it! When Snake, Kratos or Kirby slices the throat of an enemy, I’m the one that chose the exact moment to strike. I’m not going to bother getting into the violence-is-ruining-our-kids debate. Boys are going to enjoy violent books, movies, games and inter-cranial virtual reality holovids forever. What’s exciting is that we’re creating newer, more immersive ways to be entertained, and the previous technologies are informing the new.

Movies got awesome based on their creators’ love of books. Video games are clearly influenced by movies. David Jaffe, creator of God of War, admitted as much in the special features of the game, speaking about the skeletal goons they ripped from claymation Sinbad and Evil Dead films.

It’s nice to know that in the year 3153, when kids are shooting aliens, their entertainment will be linked through inspiration and influence to the games I’m playing now, the books read of old and the cave paintings our ancient ancestors drew of Space Invaders.

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SIMON J. GREEN is a script writer and producer from south of the equator. He's written two seasons of children's animated web series The Adventures of Freddo, and produces video content and advertising for the web. He contributes articles to various online and print in Australia and keeps a blog called The Awesome Report to catch the overflow of words.

3 responses to “Video Games Are Better Than Movies”

  1. James D. Irwin says:

    I was talking with my brother a few days ago about video games. He was claiming that L.A. Noire was disappointing because you were quite limited in what you could make the character do, there were loads of cut scenes, and there wasn’t much variety.

    Although all of that is true, I disagreed with him. Firstly because it’s the first game I’ve even tried to complete and I was so amazingly good at it that I worked a lot of stuff out before the end, but also because of the more serious point that video games have changed in the last couple of years.

    Not so long ago most games were mostly gameplay driven. Increasingly it’s aboiut story and animation. It’s evolved into a legitmate art form… a different platform to tell stories. A more interactive way to tell stories and because of the insane level of graphics you can almost totally immerse yourself in another world.

    It’s also been noted that movies are becoming more like video games— at least a lot of the big Hollywood films. Not art house films. Those wouldn’t make good games. I’d still rather watch a brilliantly entertaining movie than play a video game though. For now.

  2. Mary says:

    the games you play and love today will be a lame ass movie by 2016 and you know it.

  3. I love the role playing games from Bethesa, like the recent Fallout 3. I could not have an X-box 360 in my house because I would have played ten hours bouts every weekend.

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