Video Games: A New Generation of Cinematic Storytelling

As I sit with my PS4 controller in hand, violently mashing the buttons, I am sweating and my heart is racing as I race through the hospital hallway in search of Ellie. I of course playing as Joel, the protagonist of the videa game masterpiece, The Last of Us, a 2013 zombie apocalypse themed survival horror game. Video games have been a huge part of my life growing up. I’ve invested countless hours into these unique and immersive worlds that honestly it’s probably unhealthy. But there’s something special about video games that you just don’t get in any other form of media. Now I know I know, this is a movie website and you’re wondering why I’m talking about video games… but these two mediums intersect more often than not. Both are driven by their characters and tell unique stories that a viewer or player can get into. Video Games however put you in control of your protagonist and you are able to dictate the action of said protagonist. To give an example, the PS4 I talked about in the beginning of this blog is a recent purchase and I recently finished the Uncharted series (fantastic series, definitely recommend), which puts you in the shoes of Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter who goes to different vast locales in search for different historical and mythical treasures and usually ends up getting involved in some crazy conspiracy with some organization or villain… does this sound like another well  known treasure hunter from another well known series of films? That’s right, Indiana Jones. These video games are the players ability to act out an Indiana Jones adventure. As I am playing the best game in the series, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, I hang onto a train as it explodes and barrel rolls down the tracks, crashing into the tunnel entrance, preceding a snarky one liner from our protagonist. I then say to myself, wow wouldn’t this be great in a movie… but then it dawns on me. This is a movie! I’m actually playing the movie and that’s something special. I think throughout the past few years as we have gotten these brilliant experiences like Uncharted, The Last Of Us, the 2013 reboot Tomb Raider and it’s brilliant sequel etc. video games have been looked at more seriously as an art form and rightfully so. I think anybody who is looking for a new original story should begin looking at this wonderful art form. I look forward to more great experiences like the few I have listed and many I have not.

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