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Why Are Video Game Movies So Awful? 385

An article at CNN discusses why big screen interpretations of video games, even successful ones, often fail to succeed at the box office. Quoting: "The problem with successfully adapting video games into hit Hollywood spin-offs may lie in the way in which stories for both mediums are designed and implemented. Game makers chasing the dream of playing George Lucas or Steven Spielberg will always strive to coax human emotion and convincing drama from increasingly photorealistic virtual elements. The Hollywood machine, in its endless chase for big bucks, can't help but exploit the latest hit interactive outing, often failing to realize it's often a specific gameplay mechanic, psychological meme or technical feature that makes the title so compelling. Both sides may very well continue to look down in disdain on the work that the opposite is doing, which can doom any collaborative efforts. But where the two roads truly diverge is in the way stories are fundamentally told. Films offer a single, linear tale that's open to individual interpretation, whereas games are meant to be experienced differently and in a multitude of ways by every player." On a related note, reader OrangeMonkey11 points out that an 8-minute short has showed up online that appears part of a pitch for a potential Mortal Kombat reboot movie. Hit the link below to take a look.

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Why Are Video Game Movies So Awful?

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  • Story. (Score:5, Informative)

    by the_raptor ( 652941 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @03:36AM (#32507190)

    Most video games have stories that straight-to-DVD movies would be ashamed of*.

    Other than that it is because Uwe Boll makes 90% of game movies.

    *The games with good stories general can not compress a 20-40 hour experience into an hour thirty.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:03AM (#32507654)

    Instead of Ayn Rand's theories pushed to the point of madness

    No pushing required.

  • Re:Monkey Island (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:10AM (#32507694)

    They already did, it was called Pirates Of The Caribbean.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @08:07AM (#32508648) Homepage Journal

    I don't even think that's it.

    But I think you're on the right track. There's a much much simpler explanation that doesn't have anything to do with different story telling media, and it is this: These projects are undertaken solely to make a quick and easy buck.

    It's not that anyone objects to making a buck, or to having a buck handed to them on a silver platter, but I think any movie worth seeing is made by people who actually care about more than collecting a paycheck without embarrassing themselves. Look at the LotR movies. They aren't perfect, and the story wasn't a natural fit for the medium, but the movies were obviously a labor of love.

    The same for "Plan 9 from Outer Space". Ed Wood was trying his damnedest to make a masterpiece, and it shows.

  • by MartinSchou ( 1360093 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @09:02AM (#32509138)

    it's simple, really - spin-offs are, by definition, lame and derivative.

    Which is why The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is such a lame, derivative and quite thoroughly uninspired book.

Loose bits sink chips.