The digital world, a refuge for cinematographic art? | Babelia

The fact that the word videogame is made up of two joined nouns (“video” and “game”) means that, when talking about the influence of cinema in the interactive medium, people focus on the first part, the “video”. ”. For some time now, more and more actors are joining video game casts, and they take more and more care of their audiovisual section. But beyond replicating the aesthetic forms of the seventh art, the truth is that video games can also aspire to more: they can aspire to absorb the very essence of cinema.

The most recent example is Trek to Yomia black and white game of scroll horizontal that puts us in the shoes of a samurai from the Edo period of Japan. Virtually all articles and reviews about the game cite the same name: Akira Kurosawa. Mechanically crude but visually impeccable, for once the voices are not wrong: the game not only drinks from the cinematographic conception of the Japanese master, but in certain aspects lives up to it. And we’re not just talking about composition and shots, but about the very root of Kurosawa’s cinema: movement. The accurate panning, the suggestions on the edges of the frames and the audiovisual calligraphy that the game displays mean that the “Kurosawa seal” that it shows is not a mere cosmetic label but a truth sustained throughout the work. In an age of clone cinema created (mostly) only for consumption, to think of the video game as a refuge for cinematographic art is quite an exciting temptation.

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In many ways, we can say that the most cinematic game of recent years is Death Stranding (Hideo Kojima, 2019). And he is not, or not only, because of the audiovisual segments, the cinematic scenes of the game (kojima he already used to create great scenes in other games; there is his acclaimed saga metalgear to prove it), but by the presence of actors playing the main characters doing a tremendous job —Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Lea Seydoux, Margaret Qualley, Guillermo Del Toro, all of them superb— and the blockbuster packaging that enveloped the ensemble. But let it be clear: in Death Stranding the cinematographic and the narrative was just the colorful packaging of an artifact that, if it managed to connect with the user, essentially did so (as a video game should do and since it cannot Trek to Yomi) through the playable section. That is, take care of the “video” but never forget the “game”.

Set in a world haunted by a deadly rain and by a series of invisible specters that have given new meaning to death (the game dares to mess with the swampy theme of transcendence), the work ignored the heroes to put us in the shoes of a delivery man who had to carry valuable merchandise on his back for the small communities that still populate that hostile land. And he managed to get us involved as if our lives depended on it in tasks that were initially tedious: weight distribution around the body, saving natural spaces from an uncomfortable world, choosing the best footwear for long walks. That is to say, and here is the key to everything: the game was not limited to replicating what other media (series, cinema) can offer, but it delved into the interactive experience, and in what way.

Norman Reedus, in a moment of 'Death Stranding'.Norman Reedus, in a moment of ‘Death Stranding’.

In addition, the formal break proposed by the game was even more commendable given its budget; getting suicidally creative is easier in a game indie a few thousand dollars than when your budget exceeds 100 million. Anyway, in many ways we can say that the game was a miracle.

The leading actor of Death Stranding, Norman Reedus, brought joy to the gaming community last week. During an interview, the journalist was listing his recent work when he quoted Death Stranding. “We just started the second one,” he replied casually. Reedus. And the world burst into a whirlwind of speculation and hope. And it is that, little understood in its early stages, the meanings of the game are still haunting the minds of many thousands of players around the world, sowing that sentimental fire that a few pass on to a few others and that is the cornerstone of what we have always called culture. That is to say, and speaking in silver: the official confirmation of that sequel is missing, but if it occurs, it is possible that the world of video games cannot, today, know happier news.

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