No round-up today, because there’s really not much to lasso.
Clint Hocking, game designer for Ubisoft, got a lot out of 300. An awful lot. The well-received digital bloodbath sparked something in Mr. Hocking, the seeds of an argument against the desirability — or even possibility — of the media of games and film cross-pollinating, or converging.
Hocking’s argument is predicated on returning to base forms, where film exists as a sequence of contextual images, and where gaming is an interaction between a player and a machine. Thus, Hocking argues, there can be no convergence between the two media, because their base forms are incompatible. In his words, "Saying that games can learn from film and vice versa – while not entirely untrue – is only as true as saying convergence between cooking and ballet would make ballet taste better and would make meals better express the beauty of the human form."
It’s far from a new argument, but its current relevence makes it worth noting, as does the fact that Hocking’s argument is largely well-written and reasoned. What fascinates me about Hocking’s observations is that any touted convergence by either the film or game industry originates in marketing, promotion, and sales, rather than in any of the creative endeavors. Narrative games and narrative films will always share a surface comparison, because storytelling, no matter the form, enters the same part of the audience’s brain; but I agree with Hocking that it’s worth remembering the disparate foundations on which the stories are built.
Check out Hocking’s article and forgive him for the gradually developed martyr complex; he’s got a couple of worthy ideas.