Judging from past experience, movies and video games are two species that should be at the very top of a geneticist's “do not cross“ list. The result is invariably some hybrid monstrosity that treads on the dreams of gamers as if they were nothing but random skyscrapers in Tokyo. Yet, time and again, some mad scientist or the other rises to repeat this folly afresh. A particularly persistent culprit is Avi Arad, whose production house has been responsible for an army of mostly comic book-inspired movies such as X-Men, Iron Man, Blade and their respective sequels. Apparently, his gaze has now turned to video games, and he is known to be involved in the upcoming movie involved in the upcoming mo adaptations of Uncharted, Mass Effect and inFamous; these games shall now be join ing the ranks of a group so decrepit and pitiful that Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within are actually at the top of their pecking order. I have grim feel about all these adaptations. Uncharted and Mass Effect are already like movies in themselves. Uncharted in fact is a video game adaptation of the adventure movie genre; adapting it back into movie format doesn't make sense to me. InFamous, on the other hand, is a video game adaptation of a variety of comic book themes with the selling point being that you get to “make your own hero“, in terms of deciding his powers and morality. Take these away and inFamous is just another generic superhero story. Mass Effect, which has the most potential for a movie adaptation with its incredibly rich universe and backstory, is similarly positioned. The game lets you choose your own Shepard -male or female, paragon or renegade. The movie will not only take that away by settling on one “official“ Shepard, it will also take away the hours of interaction and relationship-build ing with your squad-mates.
Ultimately, the essence of games lies in providing to the player a depth (in terms of time or interactivity) of experience that movies cannot provide. To translate this essence into a movie format requires care and cunning that is hard to come by, and that is why we usually end up with two-hour-long clichés. Let's just hope these guys do a decent job.