Archive for the ‘ Books ’ Category

Cross Media Productions

I recently saw Hunger Games in theaters. My review of it was that it was good, and my main complaints is the had a lot of the camera annoyances like a shaky shots and zooming in close during fight scenes so it was difficult to tell what was going on and the alterations that are necessary for any book that is turned into a movie. This brings me to the title of this post. I’m not really sure I used it right, but what i am referring to is when a something is remade in another form of media, in this case, a book made into a movie. As was the case here and is usually the case, the movie wasn’t as good as the book. The only time this wasn’t the case was Forrest Gump; then again the movie and and the book were barely related. They had the same characters, and many of the same events, but the book was more of a Comedy with Forrest being an Idiot Savant, and the movie was more of a Drama, with Forrest being an idiot with a heart of gold.

In the case of Hunger Games there wasn’t really much changed from the book to movie, just little things like a relatively insignificant character removed, and other events changed in small ways that didn’t change the overall story. Some things were added, but were necessary. Things that were going on and needed to be shown, because the book is written in first person from the perspective of Katnis and there was a lot of explaining that only happened inside of her head.

This always seems to be the case when a book is made into a movie There is always a lot that is left out, and quite a bit that is outright changed. This is obvious because it needs to appeal to the new audiences that the new media appeals to, not just the original fans, although those are often who they actually lose with the change. It’s what happened with the Batman movies the Transformer movies, the later X-Men and quite a few other Marvel movies (Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Elektra. etc.) . People new to them that didn’t actually know anything of the source material enjoyed them – for the most part – but the original fans hated the movies for how much they changed. This part was actually a bit odd for me, because, Transformers was an Anime, something that should easily be transferred to a movie, and comic books which many nowadays are extremely episodic, but i guess it just goes back to appealing to a larger audience and not just to the herd of nerds that like the original stuff.

Another cross media creation that has cropped up is Book series being made into TV shows. My first experience with this is the making of Dreden Files into a TV show, that only lasted the one season and Legend of the Seeker, which i think lasted two or three. Both of these were changed drastically from their source material, but mostly necessarily, because to be true to the source material, a great deal of it would not have been appropriate for television, which is why i think Game of Thrones is doing so well because they can stay true to their violent and sexual source material.

The last worth mentioning is that games based off of movies are almost always terrible. This actually has a better excuse because games based off movies are usually made while the movie is being made and while it has very little to go on with what happens in the movie – something that often changes while the film is being made – games usually need a lot more time then a movie to be good, and yet they are still expected to come outbefore the movie to build the hype. Of course they’re going to suck, they don’t have the information to be accurate or the time to to be good.

Recently, Games have started to be made into movies, but not to much of a positive effect. For instance the Resident Evil movie didn’t touch well with most of the original fans of RE, but i hadn’t played any of the games when i saw the first movie and i actually enjoyed it. What they did that annoyed people is to take the basic story of the first game, and re imagine it with original characters and altered environments and events. This I actually think was a good idea, at least for this media. They kept most of the basic things: Umbrella, S.T.A.R.S., and Zombies, and made something that would actually appeal to a wider audience, and probubly got more people wanting to play the games, I know I did. The reason i didn’t want to play the original games was becuase I really wasn’t into the horror genre, but seeing that it had a great deal of action, i was interested, and have actually enjoyed the RE games i have played through: RE4 and 5.

Thing is, Movies made into games, Games made into Movies, Books made into Movies, Movies made into Books (something that i have never really delved into myself honestly) and other cross media are never going to be the same, nor should they. There are things that need to be left out, altered, and added in because they just don’t fit. A movie to game can’t be the same because a gamer should be in control of the outcome, a book to movie can’t be the same because an over-present narrator is just annoying. The best thing to realize is that things will change in the new product, but you shouldn’t let the reflect on the source material or the media as a whole, i.e. I didn’t like The Eragon or Percy Jackson movies, but i liked the concept behind them so I assumed that the books were (and having read them can say they are) better then the movies.

Book Review: All Your Base Are Belong To Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture

That is a really long title. I was at borders looking at the D&D books. On the shelf below them were strategy guides that i have found little use for since i discovered that all that information is on the internet anyway, albeit without most of the pretty pictures. Stashed next to them was this book with a really long title. Any gamer worth their controller should get the reference to a poorly translated Japanese videogame, but i really thought that the first portion of the title was unneccesarry, because the important part that got me to buy and eventually read the book was the history aspect of it.

I already knew the bare bones, about the video game crash of the mid-80s and how that funny Japanese guy from Nintendo Shigeru Miyamoto made sure they survived, but I didn’t really know the specifics. I wanted to learn the specifics though, which is why I picked up this book. It starts out with a short bit about what the author suspects is the first videogame created, and procedes chronologically from there.

To be honest, i lost a bit of interest when i started chapter 6: The Rise of Electronic Arts. Yes there were great things like the Sim games that they made, but they also made the most annoying games: Madden. However, i kept reading and gained an appreciation for it, seeing as the great amount of money they gained from Madden and other sports games, allows them to make Sims and Dragon Age, games I do find great enjoyment on.

After that the game becomes less chronological and more focusing on impactful games like the rise and fall of Everquest, the good and bad of Rockstar sandbox games, and the awesome artistic aspect of Bioshock, aswell as many more. I would recommend this book to Gamers, but really to anyone that would like to understand the history and evolution of games.