Three things video games can teach movies

| Senior Cadenza Editor

As time passes, the gap between video games and movies narrows. The two mediums will never completely overlap, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t learn from each other.

1. The case against horrible acting
Most games nowadays have voice acting in some capacity, but nearly all of it stinks. You might think the suckiness is probably due to a combination of bad animations and poor acting, but just close your eyes, listen to Kratos scream like a pig and try to convince yourself that it’s good voice acting. From horror stories I’ve heard, voice actors throw all their training out the window when they hear they’re working for a video game. Pixar, and, to a lesser extent, Dreamworks, have had wonderful acting for years without the aid of A-list celebrities. Why can’t that happen in video games too?

2. Play with Perspective
Authors have been toying with unreliable narrators for centuries, and movies like “Memento” and “A Beautiful Mind” have continued the trend in earnest. It’s time for the unreliable narrator to jump to games. To be fair, the suspect narrator has made appearances in some “Final Fantasy” games, but more often than not, game stories are told from the perspective of some omnipotent being, like the sages in “Legend of Zelda” or an intelligence agency in any game involving terrorism. Imagine a first-person game with an unreliable narrator and how betrayed you would feel once you figured out your character’s ulterior motives. It has to happen.

3. The Opening of the Field
Why is it that every video game pits one super-powered protagonist against the whole world? How many movies released outside of the summer follow this trend? If games ever want to be recognized as art, they have to prove that they can be more than cheap knock-offs of Jerry Bruckheimer’s latest visual feast. Movies have flawed characters, and surprisingly enough, not every movie is about the main character’s quest to beat up everyone else. The recently released “Heavy Rain” begins to show us what games are capable of being—thrillers with amoral characters—but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Games can elicit more responses than, “Sweet!” and “Badass!”

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.