Videogames or Movies, Who is the Better Storyteller

TheMoviePool: " Time and time again we look into how video games are not adapting well to film. We dive down into the cracks and explain how we would fix it. We talk about games that would make fantastic movies, (and directors that should stay away from them). However there is one key aspect people seem to be missing. Video games are starting to become better story tellers than many Hollywood movies, and at the end of that road maybe a video game will be the front runner to a film."

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Soldierone3688d ago

NOTE: Im not sure if it would be Cinema or Culture channel, and I don't think we would add game titles to the relation.

JL3687d ago

You're working for the DarkLord now? :P

Soldierone3687d ago

Yes Sir! Remember I've been looking for a place to write for haha.

I am lucky enough to be given a great opportunity like this. Hopefully everyone here likes reading my movie stuff!

JL3687d ago

Yea I remember that. That's cool, though. Glad you got the opportunity. I would've let you start writing on my site, but there's no way I could afford paid writers at this point yet.

Hope it works out for you, though. And definitely look forward to reading more of your stuff.

Castor3688d ago

Video games easy. The added engagement that you are an active participant in a video game makes for more compelling story-telling (when done right of course)

Soldierone3688d ago

Also look at how movies could adapt to this new storytelling and engage viewers better. Cloverfield makes you apart of the movie for example.

-MD-3688d ago (Edited 3688d ago )

I actually think most video games have terrible stories compared to movies.

I'm going with movies being the better story teller. Games take 10-20x longer to complete than a film and by the time you finish said game you forgot certain bits and pieces of the story over the course of playing it. A 90 minute movie is better paced than a 12 hour game.

Defectiv3_Detectiv33688d ago

Not to mention, a lot of so called 'cinematic' games rely on scripted moments that don't involve any input from the player.

Blaine3687d ago

I think 90 minutes is too short to properly develop characters and plot. Too often movie producers opt for the same devices to evoke emotions in the viewer (because they have so little time to properly develop their story) that they become too predictable. For example, whenever a character is too lovable, you know he'll end up dying!

Games, on the other hand, suffer from the graphical arms race (movie equivalent of 300! Style over substance). Devs are so focused on making their graphics better than the competition's, that it leaves them too little development resources for things like story. Games, obviously, benefit from direct player involvement, though. Playing a horror game is exponentially more unnerving than watching a horror movie! (Unfortunate that the genre's been practically abandoned by the industry...)

I think TV has great potential for story telling, because they have so much time to develop everything. But then TV suffers from commercials, lower budgets, and the season cycle.

So they all have their benefits and drawbacks. Of the 3, I think games have the best potential though. If they could set aside graphics for a minute (just focus on an art style that distracts from the lesser graphics instead!) and focus on characters and plot, with the player involvement, the story could really hit some deep emotions!

JL3687d ago

I gotta agree with a couple of the others here and say movies. Yes video games do a much better job at engaging the audience, but that's different than actual storytelling. While playing the game, often no real storytelling is going on. That's reserved to cut scenes, which (like Detective points out) doesn't allow you the engaged moment.

But storytelling wise I'd definitely say movies. Video games' primary focus is to provide an experience, often times it's hard to provide that experience (where the player has control) and still carry out a structured story while that part of the game is going on. So it all gets a bit choppy (ie you get story for a minute, then just 15 minutes of platforming or shooting or whatever, then drop in a tad bit more story and so on and so on).

Of course that's not to say that games can't tell good stories (Heavy Rain, Uncharted, etc), but in general, movies are better at actual storytelling, I think.

Soldierone3687d ago

I think the title of the article kinda misses the overall point that was aimed for.

For example references were to actual storytelling elements. Crysis has better aliens than Battle LA, there is no denying it. It also allowed better development of how brutal an alien attack would be. Sucker Punch would be a better game because it's scaled to be a lot bigger than it is. Resistance had better backstory that developed by finding intel. etc...

Like stated in the article you can follow the core story of a hero's journey in a movie, or discover more about the story and characters through a game. Granted it still takes a quality developer to make a good video game that meet these circumstances. So its not like Call of Duty is better than movies or anything.

darklordzor3688d ago

I too have often thought on this matter. The biggest thing for me is the time. Videogames have hours upon hours of time in which to tell a story. This lends to a lot of good character development and allows the story to explore the sub-plots which only add to the main story.

But to that point, it also goes to show how good movies can be, at being able to tell captivating stories in a fraction of the time. Let's face it, even with 10-15 plus hours, there are plenty of games that don't have a well developed story or characters. It just happens. There are plenty who use that time wisely, but some that don't.

ShAkKa3688d ago

One would think that games would be better on this department since they have more time for the story to evolve but i don't think that's the case yet.

JL3687d ago

Agreed. Got to factor in the fact that movies are dedicated just to the story. While games also have to throw in actual gameplay (during which you can't really do much storytelling). Games focus on the play and experience while movies focus on the story.

Downtown boogey3688d ago (Edited 3688d ago )

Movies, of course, jeez... This is such a stupid question!

There are some many issues with games in relation to this topic.

Take something like Uncharted, for example, where the protagonist, Nathan Drake, is presented as an adventurous everyman with heart BUT DURING GAME PLAY he's a cold-blooded killer and has superhero-esque upper body strength!!

When you're playing you are PLAYING and not aways interested in listening or watching what the characters around you are doing. You could i.e. be jumping around smashing your mates with the butt of your rifle while they discuss something serious.

Cutscenes are mini-movies and DO NOT count towards establishing a story in a game. (I think that narrative driven games like most FPS campaigns, are in fact game-movie hybrids... Even without cutscenes.)

In games, you often die multiple times which doesn't really do much good for immersion and relating to the characters.

Games aren't photo realistic yet either, so there's that too...

But the biggest issue is an intrinsic one: Game should (and some do -to an extent-) allow the player to craft his/her own story. The player would be the storyteller.

kingjoker343687d ago

i dont know what ur talkin bout. one of the best things in the uncharted games is the talk they have while during gameplay.
and how does photo realism have to do with story telling?

and how do cut scenes no tell story?
im so confused by your weird type of knowledge

Downtown boogey3687d ago

Sure, you can enjoy their chatting, but it has nothing to do with the storytelling abilities of the medium.

Photo realism is very important for making everything seem real. If you have blocks instead of character models that look like humans beings, it's not the same thing at all.

I didn't say cut scenes "no tell story", what I DID say, however, was that cut scenes are practically "mini-movies." MOVIES! Do I really need to elaborate??

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