20: The Gamification of Cinema (with Alex Ross)


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Toronto-based researcher and PhD candidate Alex Ross is today’s guest for a discussion of the intersection between videogame culture, film culture and fandom.

We go over the initial use of videogames in the 80s as story premises (Tron, WarGames), official videogame adaptations in the 90s (Mortal Kombat), and into the 21st century, when films were adapted into videogames (GoldenEye, The Godfather), and videogames themselves became more cinematic (the Grand Theft Auto series, which in turn inspired Crank). Leading us into today: blockbusters that feel more and more like cut scenes and gaming quest storylines designed to serve an increasingly entitled and anxious audience segment, while some of the worst aspects of the game development workplace now directly influence how films are finished and released.

Alex also tells us about some newer games that get close to approximating actual cinema.

Follow Alex Ross on Twitter.

Alex has just published an academic article on the intersection between gaming and gambling, for the Journal of Consumer Culture.

Video Games Can Never Be Art” by Roger Ebert, April 2010

Trailer for Mortal Kombat (Paul W.S. Anderson, 1995)

57 episodes