Safety Instructions from a Hotel Guidebook, Phuket, 2007

Do not panic.
Rise above yourself.
Proceed to higher ground.
Move at a brisk but moderate pace.
Faster than that.
We suggest you reconsider the importance of that particular piece of baggage.
Take only what you can carry.
We regret that dinner reservations may not be honored tonight.
It is advisable, from this point on, only to look forward.
Avoid succumbing to illusions of chaos.
There is nothing to see behind you.
Do not consider yourself an evacuee, unless you intend to become one.
Property can be replaced.
Bags can be reclaimed.
Hotel bills can still be charged to a major credit card.

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.