152: Capes, Cops and Cowboys

Capes, Cops and Cowboys

"We're living in the Age of the Genre. Superhero movies are as thick as maple leaves on the ground after an October thunderstorm. We're getting spear-and-sandal epics, giant, city-destroying monsters, zombies, zombies and more zombies. On the gaming front ... we got cowboys in Call of Juarez, a campy '50s UFO invasion in Destroy All Humans, and kung-fu bad cop Tequila in Stranglehold. And, of course, Dead Rising and Resident Evil 4 gave us yet more zombies. It all begs the question: Is the culture machine's newfound reliance on established genres just a fad, or a taste of things to come?"

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Haha, nice job getting that interview back on track. Then again, I saw where he was coming from in his response to the first question. Genre-specific films are certainly not "on the rise". Everything's always been divided into specific genres, it's the human need to organize things.

So when you say "genre films," or "genre media," you're talking about everything.

Whilst I'm sure he's correct, the big trouble with this answer is that it avoids the interesting part of the question.

Why do films almost all fall into a relatively small number of distinct archetypes? We all have theories, but it's an interesting and relevant question. Particularly since gaming seems to be going (or has already gone) the same way.

Monster flicks are not at all coming back. :(

I grew up on Godzilla, and Cloverfield was a beautiful modern-monster flick. Too bad people hated it for the most retarded reasons.

I say bring on the "genre" games! It's past time we had games that blurred the line between movies, TV and video games. For a long time, video games were so abstract that they were merely a test of reflexes and puzzle solving skills. Sure, there were text based adventure games that were interactive stories, but they lost their appeal with most people when graphics started showing up in games. Then it became all about how good you could make the graphics and how well the player could shoot them, rearrange them or navigate through them.

We're starting to see more games with real stories and characters we find ourselves caring about. As the technology progresses to the point that the graphics are starting to look almost as real as the images on the movie screen, I say it's high time that the stories caught up.

Why not pair amazing graphics with an interactive story? A few games have kinda tried to do that like Fable, but it's still pretty abstract. Games like Deus Ex and Jade Empire where your every decision affects the outcome of the game show up now and then, but the level of interaction is still lower that what a lot of people are looking for. That is evidenced by the low sales and few follow-ups for those kinds of games. Gamers keep going back to what' familiar: shooters, sports and racing games. Once a truly interactive story comes out where you decide what to say and do looks more natural than picking out dialog from a list, I think more people will check it out.

I think that's largely why the internet is exploding in what it can offer and do. More and more people are surfing it looking for interactive content. When they find it, the hits and sales that result inspire other people to come up with something even more compelling. MMORPG's like WOW have cult-like followings because of this.

When you can sit down to your TV/PC hybrid and say "ok I'm gonna play a character in this movie now" and actually find that what they make the character say and do really affects the other characters and the events in the life-like movie; then we will have what I think most gamers are really looking for.

Puzzle games and target games are nice diversions and all, but you can only play them so long before you get bored with them and search for more variety and interaction.

When it comes right down to it, whether you'd get any of them to admit it at all, I think most gamers are looking for ways to act out fantasies. People have been doing that in stage plays since before the time of the ancient Greeks. Now, most of us would rather do it in our own homes in font of a monitor. Yeah there are a lot of folks who do live stage plays still, but a lot more folks stay at home and watch movies or play games.

I think most gamers are looking for ways to act out fantasies

I need to re-examine my relationship with Tetris in the light of this insightful comment.

They are bringing out a film based on Joust!?! Man i used to love that game back on my Atari 7800 but a film of it has to be a joke

Dom Camus:
I think most gamers are looking for ways to act out fantasies

I need to re-examine my relationship with Tetris in the light of this insightful comment.

Bet your dreams involve a lot of packing suitcases, don't they.

Drong:
They are bringing out a film based on Joust!?! Man i used to love that game back on my Atari 7800 but a film of it has to be a joke

No doubt, and yet, unless the director's name rhymes with "Gooey Hole," I'll be first in line to see it.

Industries are running out of ideas which is why they are releasing remakes and sequels.

He seemed to be doing a bit of question dodging. I don't really think how "genre" films at the beginning and horror are really the same thing. I would say zombies are a genre film. Massive monsters destroying a city are genre films. Superheroes are genre films.

Whereas horror is much more a category, it's part of the big 4 action, romance, comedy and horror. All 4 seem to be eternally popular and it's almost impossible not to be put in one of those categories whereas it's the sub categories and how popular those are which is interesting.

Still a nice interview.

 

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