First comes excitement. Of course I try to fight against it. I'd like to think I put up a decent struggle, but that's a complete lie: the first time I heard they were making a movie based on The House Of The Dead, I spent the night dreaming of chainsaw-wielding zombies, shoot-outs with the wicked Magician, and a final, bloody confrontation with Dr. Curien! Ah, you zombie-making little rascal, you. Good thing I brought my shotgun!
But as I learn more and more about the upcoming film, the smile slowly starts to melt from my face and my heart hardens. This is my self-defense mechanism, skepticism, kicking in. It's trying to shelter my poor heart from yet another disappointment. I wrap my cynicism around me and insist that this time, Hollywood's not going to hurt me! I've seen what they did to Street Fighter. I wept for weeks after that! If I hadn't run out of Ben & Jerrys, it's entirely possible I would still be sobbing into my pillow. No, the only chance I stand now is to just not get excited. Write the movie off before I do something foolish like pre-order tickets to the premier or some equally embarrassing act the gang at the local game store will never let me forget. Something like - gasp - even buying a movie poster. Oh, the humanity!
Finally, of course, is the acceptance. I know this movie is going to suck. I can feel it in the very depths of my being. There is no way to deny it; the movie has passed the event horizon of suckdom, and the irresistible pull of suckdom has it in its grasp. And just as I know this, I know one other, horrible truth: I'm still going to go see it. I will go in there, hoping to see some impressive action sequences, beautiful locations, and clever dialogue. Instead, I'll suffer through Angelina Jolie fighting statues. In a push-up. The only comfort I'll have will come afterward, when I spot my fellow gamers trying to sneak out of the theater without being noticed. We'll run into each other in the lobby and pretend we came for some other movie. And we'll ignore the tears some of us might be shedding as we leave...
A Peaceful Resolution
Making a successful movie out of a good game isn't hard. In fact, it should be downright easy - the hard part is already done! A good game is usually built on a solid storyline, with plenty of dialogue and action already filled in. The problem arises when Hollywood assumes that because gamers have played the game for months on end, they know every iota of the existing storyline, and thus they have to "stretch the boundaries." That's Hollywood-speak for "turn all the gratuitous violence into friendly, PG-13 allowable explosions with nobody really getting hurt." Look, I understand that there is a need to make game movies approachable (not to mention acceptable) to Mr. and Mrs. John Q (and even little Timmy). But can you meet us halfway? Let's sit down, gamers and moviemakers, and come to some sort of an agreement before you do irreparable harm to all we hold dear.