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26 November 2016

Movies and Games: A Symbiotic Relationship

By // Games

8-bitFrom Atari and The Mechanic to Angry Birds and The Martian, gaming and movies have come a long way in the last 40 years. The two industries have a symbiotic relationship: there are games that are inspired by movies, but also movies that have been inspired by games. At Comic-Con this year, Kelly and Rachael talked to the guys at Stern Pinball about how they adapt popular movie properties for new pinball machines but the meshing of the two mediums goes far beyond that (and beyond Wreck-it Ralph, which is just too easy).

Games Inspired By Movies
There have been many games released over the years that have been based directly on a movie. The incredibly successful Fast & Furious movies served as the inspiration for the Fast & Furious street racing arcade game. Spiderman 2, based on the Marvel movies, allowed players to play as the superhero, swinging through Manhattan’s skyscrapers, and the 1983 sequenced arcade game Star Wars proved just how George Lucas made the most of film merchandise.

The early ’90s video game Jurrasic Park let players choose to play as either Dr. Alan Grant from the movie or as a velociraptor. This was also one of the first games to let players pick up where they left off by issuing a password at each level. This may be something modern gamers take for granted, but in the ’90s, this was incredibly exciting.

Games Inspired By Movie Characters
James Bond: international man of mystery, heart throb, martini connoisseur, and lover of casinos, gambling, and winning big. It was in Dr No in 1962 that we first heard the famous line “Bond…James Bond”. It was uttered by Sean Connery in a casino while playing Chemmy (Chemin-de-fer).

Bond helped to elevate gambling to a suave, sought-after past time and inspired an incredible rise of online casino games. From online poker tournaments to games of roulette and the best online slots in Canada, online casino games allow players to beat the odds in a casino, just as Bond does in the field. There’s a surprising variety of casino games to be played online (each one of which comes in tons of different variations), they can all be accessed from the comfort of our own sofa; martini in hand, of course.

If you’re more into the shoot-em-up version of Bond, the classic is N64’s seminal first-person shooter GoldenEye though I personally prefer the more elaborate missions of its follow-up The World is Not Enough (GoldenEye really is like 98% just shooting).

Movies Inspired By Games
One brand truly encompasses the symbiotic relationship between movies and games: Lego. They started off with games inspired by movies: Lego Harry Potter in 2001 to Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2016. Our favourite movies have been inspiring Lego video games for almost 16 years.

In 2014, however, it came full circle when we saw the release of a movie inspired by the games: The Lego Movie . Set in a cheery but dystopian Lego universe, we see the main character, Emmett, meet some of our favourite characters from the Lego games. We meet Lego Batman, Lego Han Solo, and even Lego Dumbledore. A movie inspired by games that were inspired by movies; Legoception, if you will. And it’s not stopping anytime soon: The Lego Batman Movie is coming in 2017.

The Future of Move-Inspired Gaming
We can play games as our favourite movie characters, immerse ourselves in their worlds, and with the development of virtual reality technology, there’s a really exciting future for movie-inspired gaming. VR headsets such as Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR are on the horizon and will take the immersion to the next level; we will soon be able to truly be part of our favourite movie-based games – and the sky’s the limit.


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