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Behind the scenes: how the digital gaming industry draws inspiration from movies

Mariano Garcia dissects the DNA and investigates the many traits that connect two of the very well-known entertainment industries

he line dividing film and digital gaming continues to blur. Films inspire games, lending their visual aesthetics, engaging narratives, and iconic characters to create immersive gaming experiences. In turn, these games attract a broader audience and extend the life of movie franchises. But how does this transformation happen? Let’s explore behind the scenes.


The symbiotic relationship between film and digital gaming

Over the years, an array of unforgettable movies have made the successful leap from the big screen to the digital gaming sphere. Take The Godfather (Francis Ford Copolla, 1972), for instance, a film revered as a timeless masterpiece. Copolla’s critical darling not only revolutionised cinema but also inspired a series of successful games that captured the intense family dynamics and strategic gameplay that echoed the film’s plot.

Similarly, Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005), a film teeming with prehistoric creatures and heart-pounding suspense, was skilfully adapted into an action-adventure game, reimagining the movie’s thrilling narrative into a gripping play-through that brings players face-to-face with the gargantuan gorilla himself.

The list doesn’t end there. Other notable examples include GoldenEye 007, an immersive game based on the James Bond film that set a new standard for first-person shooters, and Scarface: The World Is Yours, a game that allowed players to step into the charismatic yet ruthless world of Tony Montana, brought to life so memorably in the classic Al Pacino film. Then, of course, there’s Star Wars, an iconic franchise that has given birth to countless games across various genres. From intense starfighter battles to intricate role-playing games, these adaptations have kept fans engaged, ensuring the Force continues to thrive in our cultural consciousness.


The transformation of iconic characters into virtual heroes

The allure of a film often lies in its memorable characters. Digital gaming not only recreates these iconic personas but also breathes life into them, providing players with an unparalleled opportunity to step into the shoes of their favourite characters. The Harry Potter series serves as a prime example of this transformation. With a flick of a wand, fans are transported into the magical world of Hogwarts, delving deep into various games and effectively becoming part of the narrative they have come to cherish. Further exemplifying this transformation is Mad Max, which has been beautifully rendered into an expansive open-world game. Here, players don the persona of Max, the lone warrior, navigating through the desolate wastelands of a post-apocalyptic world. Similarly, Batman: Arkham Asylum transforms fans into Gotham’s vigilant protector, the Caped Crusader, battling infamous villains in the shadowy, peril-ridden halls of Arkham Asylum. Such immersive experiences bridge the gap between viewers and their on-screen heroes, creating an interactive world of cinematic magic.

Even the online casino industry draws inspiration from films to create engaging gaming experiences. Take the world of online slots, for instance; they often adopt film themes to create a familiar and engaging environment for players. There’s Jurassic Park Gold, The Goonies Return, and Top Cat Most Wanted, which are just a few slot games that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Look at the Jurassic Park slot, for example. It borrows from the iconic movie, incorporating elements such as the prehistoric setting, dinosaurs, and even snippets of the movie score. The game allows players to reminisce about the thrill of the original movie while enjoying a digital gaming experience. The Goonies Return is another slot game that banks on nostalgia. It uses the memorable characters and the treasure-hunting theme of the original movie to create a gaming experience that’s both enjoyable and familiar. Top Cat Most Wanted, inspired by the classic animated series, also made its way into the slot gaming world, retaining the charm of the original characters and the urban setting. It offers players a unique blend of nostalgia and fun, harking back to their favourite cartoon.

In summary, from recreating epic narratives to transforming beloved characters into virtual avatars, the digital gaming industry owes much to the world of cinema. This symbiotic relationship allows both industries to reach new heights, with games expanding the audience base of movies and movies, in turn, providing rich content for game development.

So, next time you come across a game inspired by a film, take a moment to appreciate the behind-the-scenes effort that goes into crafting these digital experiences. And remember, this is not just a game; it’s a whole new way of experiencing cinema.

By Mariano Garcia - 11-08-2023

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