Those who know me well would know of my love for video games. Unfortunately this doesn’t align well with certain circumstances including but not limited to my sensitivity to motion sickness and lesser free time. But that’s where I think the future of video games will not just be about playing them, but also watching them.
Just because I don’t want to play certain games doesn’t mean I can’t experience them.
Over the past month, I’ve watched something called “Uncharted The Movie”. What it is is a video recording of someone’s complete playthrough of a Playstation-exclusive game series Uncharted 1, 2 & 3. I have heard good things about these games, but had no motivation to play them nor do I even have a PS3.
YouTube user morphinapg explains, “Considering this is the best game series I’ve ever played, and certainly the most cinematic, I decided to make them into movies.“. And he did very well.
The result is a 2-3 hour immersive movie experience for each game that I thoroughly enjoyed. And if the 144,000+ view count is to be believed, I’m not alone.
Here’s why I think watching video games is not such a crazy idea and why I would recommend it to anyone.
- A lot of modern AAA-title video games are story-driven with a three-act structure that is no different to books or movies. The fact that modern games are heavily judged on story compels game-makers to create more interesting storytelling.
- Modern graphics rendering capabilities combined with ever-growing budgets for game visual and audio productions has led to movie-grade character models, animations, virtual sets and even voice acting.
- Cutscenes and quick-time events, especially in adventure games, were always cinematic experiences in small chunks. The uncanny valley between formerly pre-rendered cutscenes, in-game cutscenes and real gameplay is shrinking and it’s no longer such an obvious transition between cinematics and game.
- Video editing is easier and more accessible. These aren’t just videos of someone’s shakycam of them playing for 20+ hours – it’s an edited and refined version of the game enough to make the story coherent.
- Last but not least, it’s free and requires little time and resource investment. You can watch it for a few minutes to see if you like it and stop it if you don’t. You can also pause and resume on a mobile device riding public transport like I did.