GhostPlanet Rant: “Hollywood, Please Stop Butchering My Video Games.”
At the risk of taking a machete and hacking the Uwe Boll pinata to pieces, I’d like to point out that this is not the focus of the article, despite Uwe Boll giving the video game industry a reason to reject his ideas like a transplant recipient.
Movie-goers at the very least are perverse voyeurs who slip ten bucks into the slot of a peep show booth on the weekends. All the dizzying, mesmerizing sights that are on display are strictly from the “look but don’t touch” department simply because watching chaos and disorder that can never affect us in any physical way is by far the most safest means to enjoy such a journey.
Video games have obliterated that fourth wall to a point where you not only control the pace and flow of a story; you are directly responsible for the virtual life in your hands. Much like a general who commands far from a battlefield through a plethora of television monitors, barking out orders and watching them come to fruition. Sure, you’ll lose some men. Don’t worry there’s more coming. There’s always more coming.
The causality of decision making reaches far beyond the next save point. It means what you decide to do today could have exponential repercussions, quite literally, years from now, depending on how long the franchise stays alive and how many evolutionary systems it appears on. All of those breakfast McGriddles suddenly don’t sound like such a good idea, do they?
Video games are the skin movies have tried to live in but never could and vice versa. The translation of content between these two mediums has been broken and jarred at best, much in the same way a book is almost never turned into a great movie. And seriously, when was the last time you read the novelization of any film and thought “Pulitzer. All the way.” Come to think of it, what novelization followed the movie exactly, if at all? And what would possess someone to read what they’ve seen as if to prove to themselves it’s the same? It’s like eating pizza in Italy and getting pissed it doesn’t taste like Domino’s.
But I digress to make this point. When you spend millions of dollars for casting directors, scriptwriters, foley artists, landscape and design, musical scores; essentially all of the bone and sinew that becomes the basis for a movie, but produce an interactive technology, why on Earth would you reproduce it as a movie? What idea could you possibly introduce into such a confined space that would work better inside of a box, rather in an impossible environment and one I could enjoy on my own time.
This “remake” disease that has infected the landscape of cinema is little more than the next outbreak of “let’s do non-stop superhero movies” that has left most intelligent writers in quarantine and others emaciated and working for The Asylum. The fact is, a character that I have built a rapport with over a dozen hours by making he or she narrowly escape a death trap is a feeling of accomplishment I will never get from a ninety-minute cardboard look alike.
Hollywood needs to wake up to what everyone else in the video game industry has been saying since the last decade. Our medium is not your medium. Your medium can never be our medium. It’s time to stop trying to stuff the video game dough into the stringent movie house mold and put the debate to rest. With money as a sole justification to turn a video game into a movie removes the heart of the original project and simply tells all those hard working people at “Company Studios” that they didn’t do a good enough job the first time around.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And Uwe Boll should have never.
Dante Villanova is an avid freelance fiction writer, movie reviewer, and video game enthusiast. He dual wields sarcasm and cynicism like twin katanas and enjoys filleting pop culture for sport.