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Games & Tech

How video games use different media

We look at how video games crossover into other mediums.

Games controller
Credit: Pexels

The increasing involvement of technology in every aspect of our lives means that more people than ever are interacting in the digital realm. From grocery shopping and online banking to augmented reality and artificial intelligence, the power of programming is becoming increasingly important.

However, while the technical side of creating a piece of hardware or software is vital to its success, it has also highlighted the need for creativity in the field. Without original ideas, artists, and storytellers, some of the most popular advances in the digital sphere would simply not be possible.

This is particularly true in the gaming industry, where coding and creativity meet to create engaging games that offer players escapism, excitement and fun. While the visual appeal and gameplay rely on the skill of designers and coding experts, the things that keep players coming back are often the creative elements that are common to all forms of entertainment.

Popular culture reflected in video games

When Disney first revealed that they were planning to release a film that was based on a ride from one of their theme parks, public reception was mixed. Many were sceptical that such a crossover would work, but their fears were proved baseless when the film became one of the highest-grossing films of the year.

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Since then, the cross-pollination of media has become more common, with many brands finding success in a variety of different industries on the basis of a single product or concept. The idea of using popular characters in a new setting has become commonplace in the world of video games, where players value the opportunity to play as their favourite action hero in a world that they have explored before, through different media.

Plenty of games have drawn on popular culture to give players a new take on something familiar. The popularity of games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero showed that gamers enjoy learning real-world skills in a digital environment with a soundtrack of their favourite songs.

There have also been plenty of games based on hit movies, including:

  • Star Wars
  • Harry Potter
  • Spiderman
  • Batman
  • The Thing
  • James Bond
  • Alien

Some of these film franchises have become industries in their own right, with fans enjoying everything from Lego sets and children’s toys to global conventions and high-end memorabilia. Superheroes and fantasy series are particularly popular, with fans of all ages able to engage in alternate ‘universes’ where they can create their own storyline with characters that have become household names.

In some cases, the evolution from an original book or comic book has taken place over the course of decades as the programming power needed to recreate the imagined worlds catches up. Advancing technology means that video games need to include high-quality graphics and visuals to maintain the feel of the film, allowing players to enjoy a cutting edge experience in their own homes.

Other media crossovers

As well as drawing heavily on films and music to create games that bring players instant familiarity, game developers are tuned in to other media. The growth of on-demand television makes it easier to follow favourite shows and adding in other ways to enjoy them has proved a popular option.

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Game shows and quizzes are a popular choice as a video game gives players a chance to join in from home and pit their wits against their favourite contestants. This type of crossover was popular with fans of the TV hit Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and saw quiz machines becoming more popular in pubs and gaming arcades.

Since then, the enthusiasm for video games based on television shows has resulted in some of the most popular slot’s games, such as Deal or No Deal, The Chase, and Family Fortunes. These games are popular with players that enjoy the familiar faces and format and appreciate the free spins no deposit offers that are often available.

Video games becoming mainstream

Super Mario Bros
Credit: Pexels

Super Mario Bros are just one example of a video game being turned into a film

While video game developers are drawing on other media such as film, television and music, the traffic also goes both ways. Some of the most popular video gaming characters have had their own foray into television and films, incorporating backstories and character development that isn’t possible within the confines of a traditional game.

Some of the more notable examples, including a number of classic games alongside modern crossovers:

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  • Lara Croft: Tomb raider
  • Streetfighter
  • Super Mario Bros
  • Angry Birds
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Resident Evil
  • House of the Dead

From the toughest warriors, tackling the most terrifying monsters, to the cute and fuzzy characters that make children’s films so appealing, plenty of video game characters have been brought to the big screen. With gamers and movie buffs sharing so many of the same interests, it’s inevitable that movement between the two media is becoming more commonplace.

An industry at the cutting edge

As technological advancements allow more complex integration between different forms of media, there is plenty of scope for video games to incorporate even more of their fans’ interests. With the improvements in wearable tech, gamers are already able to enjoy the excitement of immersive play.

From watching movies and television shows as a passive witness to other’s stories, to being an integral part of the story and choosing the path that your favourite character takes, the trend towards interactive entertainment appears to be continuing unabated.

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