Has gaming defeated Hollywood?
Now more than ever, gaming is coming to the fore. With so much of the world in quarantine, turning to a computer or a console seems the natural way to kill a surplus of spare time. Finally, gamers have the hours to fully explore every last corner of their favourite virtual worlds and get to the final level they’ve been striving for. And though streaming is even more popular while cinemas are closed and “Netflix and chill” has undoubtedly become the mantra of the nation, movies may just have lost their lead over the gaming world. Check out this infographic for a rundown on the facts and figures.
So why is online gaming overtaking Hollywood? Well, in the current climate, online gameplay has become an essential form of social interaction for many. As entertaining as a good film may be, it’s hardly a great channel for communication. Those who are bored of challenging their friends and family to quizzes on House Party are turning to Nintendo’s accessible hit release Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where they can meet up and compare turnips in a realm where social distancing doesn’t exist. More keen gamers can get stuck into cooperative sessions on titles such as Fortnite, which is a much more interactive way to spend an evening than staring lifelessly at the TV.
But if we put Coronavirus aside, the stats show that gaming has been on the rise even without the help of current events. Part of this could be due to the sheer artistry of today’s releases. Game developers show a level of craftsmanship today that is almost unbelievable: scenes are so real that you feel as if you can reach out and touch them. Stories, too, are well-written and complex, with profound character journeys and authentic relationships. The narratives are so cinematic, in fact, that games are frequently made into successful films and shows such as Pokemon: Detective Pikachu and The Witcher.
Perhaps this quality is why so many actors are being drawn the other way, into the gaming world. Or perhaps it’s the money. But whatever the draw, Hollywood actors are increasingly providing voiceovers for hit games, with none other than Samuel L Jackson and Kristin Bell among those to feature. And what’s more, the development of motion capture technology has carved out a whole new era for gaming, with many actors translating their physical movements into the game as well as their voices. If celebrities can be simulated entirely on screen, then what’s to stop us being part of the movies?
Indeed, it’s not only actors who are immersing themselves in the gaming world: the consumer, too, can become part of the game through virtual reality. This sector is thought to be the future of the industry, but for this to succeed, games must react so intuitively to our actions that the characters are believable. For this reason, the blurred lines between films and movies are surely set to become more and more indistinct.
The editorial unit