Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The Beginning, The Middle and The End

A good book can keep me immersed for weeks, a good TV show can keep me watching for days, a good film can keep me entertained for hours and a good game can keep me occupied for months. Well at least they used too.

When it comes to books, films and TV shows there are very strict aspects that need to be addressed. They all need a beginning, a middle and an end ( well not in most TV shows today such as Heroes and Lost), they all need an exciting conclusion to an epic storyline and they all need characters.

However games also need an interactive environment and storyline, which separates it’s characteristics from other media such as book, films etc.

In my opinion, good games are those that draw influence from characters and storylines that would typically appear in books. I much prefer reading a book to watching TV as a book allows readers to immerse themselves into the storyline. Twisting plots and vivid descriptions allows the reader to create their own images of what the environment and characters would look like. This obviously isn’t replicated in games as they have their own visual representations but games that have climaxes and useful, energetic plots can keep players interested for days.

However for all games, the key playable character is the most important aspect to get right. The main character of a game is the interactive connection between the player and the game environment, without it we would merely be a spectator watching a film and as far as films go, they can only maintain our attention for a few hours.

Films strive to be visually exciting, to dazzle and impress the audience with stunning scenery and breathtaking visual effects. Although, should you ever find yourself in Disney World, they have a shed-load of 3D films in an attempt to ‘involve’ the audience but they just tend to scare the hell out of me. Anyhow, films tend to capture an audience visually rather than through the story, which can sometimes be rather disappointing. But then a book has hundreds of pages to let a story unfold and a film has a meagre two hours.

To me, I find that action or comedy films are the most appealing as comic scenes and visual gags rely on facial expressions, which struggle to get across in books, and watching a fast car chase is more interesting than reading about one. But then vice versa. I find books about mystery or sci-fi more appealing as you can let your mind run riot with the descriptive passages and you can pick up on the little details that aid the flow of the plot.

My all times favourite book, that I can read over and over is written by the fabulous Dan Brown. ‘Angels and Demons’ is an amazing book that consists of dramatic twists and short suspenseful chapters that make it practical to read. I also adore the charismatic lead character an the plausible historical depictions are intriguing. It is much like the ‘Da Vinci Code’, yet another brilliant book. It sadly received a mixed review but if morons read it and get offended because they think its is real then what on earth are they doing reading books in the first place. Dan Brown clearly states that his book is fiction!

However, that doesn’t mean a can’t go to Paris and run all over pretending I’m on a quest to find the Holy Grail as a little dream of mine.


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