A new study examines the role of a viewer remembering parts of gameplay when watching films adaptations of videogames. Bjarke Liboriussen sees watching these kinds of movies as opportunities of remembering gameplay in his research article in the international journal of computer game research Game Studies (gamestudies.org). Using the intermedial method of referring to a gameplay in a movie can be an effective way to capture the audience who have played the videogame. Liboriussen argues that taking gameplay into account when making film adaptations of videogames can mitigate the risks of just relying on the games story or the characters.
The article highlights the view that the remembering of gameplay happens through grounded cognition. This approach proposes that things like the physical environment, the social environment, bodily states, and situated action are one foundation of how cognition works. Liboriussen states that may the content of the memory be negative or positive, the activity of remembering certain gameplay event through other media, in this case a movie, can still be enjoyable.
One way of using intermedial references according to Liboriussen is to imitate elements or structures of other mediums, in this case videogames. This kind of method could be for example a certain view used in a movie that replicates a view from gameplay stand of view. This could be for example the protagonist’s point of view as the viewer would be playing the video game. Also, another method used in movies based on video games, is the expansion of the feeling of being in control and having a physical presence usually occurs through the use of an avatar. However, when you’re watching a film adaptation of a video game, your ability to influence the events in the movie is inherently limited, so your sense of being actively engaged in the story is diminished. Nevertheless, you may recall your gaming experiences, and this memory might leave you with a lasting impression of an enhanced perception of your self-image.
Gameplay and learning in-game often rely on repetition and iteration. Filmic adaptations of games often include reminiscences of these gameplay events giving the viewer a possibility to remember the repetitive acts that they performed when playing the actual videogame. Though this isn’t the only way to provoke memories from games in the adaptations. Also quotes and music from the games are used as reminders of previous events.
In conclusion, Bjarke Liboriussen’s study highlights the significance of incorporating gameplay elements into film adaptations of video games and in that way incorporating a way to remember the game. By referencing to gameplay, movies can effectively engage audiences who have played the games, reducing the overreliance on the game’s narrative or characters. While the study didn’t discuss serial adaptations of videogames, Liboriussen sees future possibilities for work and study in that field.
Game Studies is a non-profit, open-access, crossdisciplinary journal dedicated to games research, web-published several times a year at www.gamestudies.org. The article that was covered in this highlight was Videogame Adaptations as Opportunities for Remembering Gameplay – https://gamestudies.org/2301/articles/liboriussen_adaptations
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