Adaptations are often the elephant in the room, they’re one of the most commercially viable and risk free ways of getting a new story into theatres, cinemas and our living rooms.
Sadly gaming and digital media in general often get the short straw here, the most prolific form of adaptations we see being soulless “tie-ins”; often lacklustre adaptations of big-budget Hollywood films simply made to rake as much cash as possible. With this in mind it’s hardly surprising that the most people look on at adaptations with little or no affection. Continue reading
I’ve been a scholar of adaptation for nearly 5 years. Well, that is amongst studying all kinds of vulgar things* like films, “culture” and other liberal arts. But in all honesty I’d like to consider that what I spent so much time studying was the universality of narrative.
The ability of stories to transcend things so trivial as medium, genre, style, time and all other arbitrary conventions. The reason why I said I studied adaptations rather than “universalities of narratives” is that, whilst the phrase “adaptations” is far from unproblematic, it is made implicit (or otherwise) in it’s definition that narrative is universal but not without needing changes (or adaptation).
The BAFTA Video Games Award nominations have been announced this week and besides some predictable choices, there’s also been some very welcome news. Monstermind, by Bossa Studios has been nominated for two, yes two, BAFTAs.
My first hand experience with Global Game Jam 2012, or #ggj12 as the twitter users amongst you know it, is pretty lite – boarding on non-existent – until today. I discovered earlier in the week that the university where I studied my undergraduate degree were taking part, and out of two parts nostalgia and two parts curiosity I popped in to see what was going on.
I’ve spent a long time dwelling on the problematic existence of “typical” narratives in open world games before. The sum of this was that the “open” nature of the game conflicts with “closed” proceedings of the central narrative.
The expectations of an open world mean that there has to be compelling reasons to explore, it must feel like a living world – but these very distractions mean that a central narrative can be sidelined at any time loosing its importance and gravitas. Continue reading