Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Episodic online games with movie tie could snag casual gamers

The movie industry may be on to something with their efforts to tie the theater experience with online episodic mobile gaming.  This article describes a new game being prepared to tie in to the new Angelina Jolie spy thriller "Salt" and it intrigued me when "Day X Exists" is explained as a "a genre that blends online and offline clues and relies on players collaborating to solve puzzles."

[Promotional Image courtesy of Sony Pictures]

It mentions that a similar game was released for "District 9".  Although I really liked that film I somehow missed any reference to an online game.  I wonder what venue the movie studios are using to announce such product tie-ins?

Since the article mentions social networking too, I guess the collaboration part of the game is expected to take place between Facebook friends or something.  I guess I should pay more attention to Facebook but I really don't have time between my writing, photography, book reviews and household adventures.  At least I have my Flickr account and blogs connected to Facebook so links to my writing and photography make it there without me having to double or triple post.

I think the movie studios are on the right track although I was a bit offended by the following paragraph:

"On the way now, as evidenced by Day X Exists, are games that feature complex narratives and depth, but do not require a master’s degree to figure out. Women in particular are a focus. " - Using Online Games to Get Movie Audiences Involved by Brooks Barnes, New York Times.

It's as if the NYT writer is inferring that women are not as intelligent as the average male gamer.  They are correct about developing games as entertainment, though, rather than something expected to take hours before any psychological reward is offered. I think introducing the social aspect to gaming will be interesting to observe as well since females have been conditioned to be more socially aware in our society.

 I also think their efforts to utilize mobile GPS for location-specific gaming strategies is commendable as well.  I guess I'm going to have to explore this Day X Exists a little further although to be honest, I would have been more interested in the game for "District 9" or maybe "Robin Hood"!  I have to confess that I fell asleep trying to watch "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and was equally bored with "Mr. and Mrs. Smith".  So I haven't yet been won over to the camp that view Jolie as an action hero.  It's not that she isn't a talented actress, as I found her performance in "The Changeling" quite riveting.  It's just that so many of these so-called spy thrillers have such a thin or overly cliched plot.

I wonder if they'll create a game for "Prince of Persia"?  Can you imagine that?  A game developed for a movie based on a game.  It sounds like one of those dreaded infinite loops!
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