A bit of a random point, but Matt and I both were discussing a new(ish) Gears of War 2 tv spot (watch it-it’s only a minute) that we both really liked for its cinematic quality. Games are obviously getting increasingly cinematic in their presentation, realism, and storytelling, and it’s nice to see a trailer that depicts this leap on prime time TV. Matt recalled a friend being perplexed at such cinematic presentations of a video games show more pervasively on television, but the industry is growing and maturing so rapidly, I certainly welcome it. On the other hand, I could see this trend going a little far, for it’s important to not completely abandon gameplay possibilities when marketing one’s game. I’d like to see a balance of the two (not split inside a commercial, but rather a balanced depiction of the game within a marketing campaign). I’d still like to see what a game’s play is like when watching an advertisement.

I really recommend watching the trailer – the subtle animation and interactions between these brutish soldiers as they plummet in the pod is really well done. It takes several viewings and a little extra-textual knowledge to fully appreciate their refined interactions, emotions, and motions-one solider looking dejectedly out the window when there’s nothing to see, the other looking vacantly at the ground as they get jostled around (very convincingly). There are moments of wordless understanding and subtle emoting, just as there is in the real world. Combined with an emotive and reflective song, this trailer really did it for me. Even though Valve claims “graphics have topped out” (that’s ridiculous, by the way), I look forward to strides in realistic graphical depiction of the intricacies of human behavior. Gameplay matters, but I think there might be a split in the future between pure gaming and interactive cinema. Games like Metal Gear Solid have really made strides in elaborate and filmic storytelling and suggest a trend of extremely long, episodic, and interactive storytelling.

Paper topic incoming, I promise…


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