We all know that movies based on games – and games based on movies – rarely turn out good. But in an interesting twist, someone believes the video game generation is having a positive effect on films, as evidenced by the recent action blockbuster, "300."
According to a Gamasutra interview with Sony Pictures Digital's Yair Landau, the movie – despite being based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller – actually owes its success to the gaming generation. Landau was talking about the blurring of the lines between current games and movies, and specifically named "300" as a "for instance:"
"I actually think that the phenomenon of 300 is really, in fact, a manifestation of the video game experience in kind of the collective conscience. The audience who came to see 300 was weaned on video games and what they saw in the marketing materials for 300 was a similar experience. They didn't show up because they were interested in the Spartans, or because they read Herodotus, or because they thought the Battle of Thermopylae was a great, untold story.
"They showed up because they saw a movie experience that was the most similar to the game experiences that they've grown up playing. The movie works because it's violent and it's actually very video game-ish. Upon first reading this I thought to myself, "No, I went to see the movie because I like Frank Miller, silly movie man," but the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. The fact that there wasn't a major video game released for the movie (the PSP version does not count) didn't really phase me because 300 was just the sort of visceral, intense experience I crave in a video game, only without a controller."
Well, PSP owners may be a little miffed by that statement in there, but otherwise, we have to say we agree. The style and structure of "300" was indeed quite similar to an action video game these days, and we can pretty much guarantee it was geared toward the same demographic. If you polled those who saw the movie in the theater as they were walking out, you'd have probably found an abnormal number of gamers in there. So at least in one way, games are having a positive effect…provided the movie isn't about any one particular game. Then it's just an automatic disaster. …we still have no idea why.