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Lost, Heroes, And Videogames

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the oh-my dept.

Television 19

At the Hollywood and Games Summit this week Jesse Alexander, the executive producer for TV shows like Heroes and Lost, spoke on a panel dedicated to the connection between television and games. "The conversation started by looking at how Lost ... has really used websites and online [Alternate Reality Game (ARG)]-like structures to draw people into the show - Moledina suggested that the TV show has deep problem-solving skills like in games. Alexander noted in response: 'Yeah, that was part of what we wanted to make. Alias came out in 2001, the same time that Neil Young was doing [early subscription-based ARG] Majestic. That was very inspiring to us. His keynote at GDC where he talked about that, was similar to us with Alias, in terms of serialized narrative.'" For full notes from the event, Alice and the Wonderland blog have you covered.

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Jericho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19688699)

That show is great. Seeing it is the first time I thought that an mmo might be a good game.

Re:Jericho (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19689085)

To watch more silly love stories between accountants and corn farmers? No thanks. Why bother with a Jericho mmo when Fallout would be soooo much better?

Re:Jericho (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19689681)

Oh holy crap. I don't know if you MEANT to be flamebait or not, but you're gonna get it for that one.

You do realize that Fallout fans are absolutely rabid against making it an action game, right? Making it an MMO is a step PAST sacrilege and I think there might actually be street riots.

I think the Fallout universe is great (I was a -huge- Wasteland fan) and I am anxiously awaiting the Oblivion-style game that's coming, and I think an MMO in that universe would be neat, too. But the fans are extremely picky for this game, for some reason... I'm not sure it could survive.

Brand marketing (4, Interesting)

gravos (912628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19688729)

Of course, Moledina countered, there's a competing licensing theory that you can sell games just based on the brand, to which Alexander agreed: "That's true in the worst ways ever..."
I give the guy credit for acknowledging this serious problem and not just playing it off. In my opinion, the biggest barrier to valuable interaction between games and other media is the fallout that crappy spinoffs cause. They make people assume that ANY movie/tv-to-game tie in must be bad and ultimately erode consumer confidence.

Re:Brand marketing (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19688971)

"They make people assume that ANY movie/tv-to-game tie in must be bad and ultimately erode consumer confidence."

That's not limited to games. Ever had Donald Duck orange juice or Dagwood luncheon meat? They're terrible. From my personal experience, I've learned that if a product is good, it doesn't usually need some sort of tie-in for it. Three Stooges beer sucks and you know it sucks because if it were any good, they wouldn't bother to license the Three Stooges name to put on the label. Granted, video games have been some of the worst offenders (ET, MASH for the 2600, or any number of spaceship battle simulators that slap Star Trek on the label), but this has been a problem long before video games came into the equation, and it will continue to be a problem even if video game tie-ins suddenly become a lot better.

Branding vs. Tie-Ins (pun intentional) (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19694221)

But gaming in particular is a whole different ball of string because of complex level of interactivity. Branding luncheon meat or beer will not make the experience "interactive" -- ie, you're not drinking beer with the Three Stooges when you drink 3 Stooges Beer. I think companies like Lucas Arts have proven that there's a step beyond branding by making games that actually immerses you in the experience. Games like Tie Fighter weren't just rebranded shooters with slapped on ship models and vague storyline tie-ins. It was an experience that actually made you feel like part of franchise. By incorporating the look, the feel, the sounds, even interactions with believable stand-ins for the characters you're familiar with, games can become more than a sum of their gameplay and license parts. It also helps to put a lot of production value into the game and made it worth playing even as a stand-alone product, but there are a lot of "good" space shooters. That TF was in the Star Wars universe only made the experience that much better.

The problem isn't with marketing games based on other-media (TV, Movie, Book) experiences, it's capturing that "magic" that makes that license what it is. Whether it's ships in space, or elves in a forest, or castaways in a hatch, the game has to be true to the original source while remaining a great experience in itself. And for fans of a TV show or movie or book, they're the ones who will go into the experience with the most critical eyes. They want something that jives with what they know and love ... and if they don't have fun doing so, it's just going to turn that core audience off of the entire brand.

Re:Brand marketing (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19694699)

The SIMS could have made a lot of money with a "Friends" pack:
"Keep some twenty and thirty somethings living in $200,000 apartments while just drinking coffee all day."
"Hilarity ensues."
"I thought it was funnier than the episode where Joey had a drum set."
"He's her lobster!"

w00t! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19688731)

First Post!

now tits or GTFO!

Lost the Game (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19688753)

There's at least one version of Lost that's been turned into a game [apple.com] .

Re:Lost the Game (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 7 years ago | (#19689649)

I think you mean:

There's at least one version of [to be continued...]

Lost playable demo. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690341)

Here is a playable demo [gameloft.com] to try as well. Boring game to me. :)

STRANDED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19690805)

You fogot to include the other LOST game:

http://www.glu.com/emea/pages/product.aspx?pr=Stra nded [glu.com]

Cue eerie sound of 'STRANDED' word spinning... ;)

Know your roots (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19688905)

This is nothing new at all in the world of entertainment. People have been searching for interesting ways to connect the audience with the program beyond its time slot at least since the days of Little Orphan Annie's decoder ring. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Know your roots (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19689183)

People have been searching for interesting ways to connect the audience with the program beyond its time slot at least since the days of Little Orphan Annie's decoder ring.
Drink More Ovaltine! :-D

Re:Know your roots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19689229)

It's "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."

It's one of my favorite movies.

Re:Know your roots (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19689287)

It's "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine." It's one of my favorite movies.
It's one of mine too, but my memory fails me. Thanks for the correction.

Lost, Heroes and Videogames (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19689115)

Three words that sum up everything wrong with western culture today.

Re:Lost, Heroes and Videogames (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19689659)

I'll agree with the lost heroes part. Society searches for a way to topple heroes instead of a way to proclaim them.

Wingmakers (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#19689521)

Although I think it's somewhat lesser known, a similar thing was the Wingmakers [wingmakers.com] craze a few years back. That consisted of a CD with a pdf novel, and some other multimedia, (music and artwork) to essentially create something that seemed like a cross between the Blair Witch Project and the X Files.

Although I don't think they're still doing it now, the similarity to the Blair Witch Project was due to the authors initially casting doubt on whether the material was intended to be seen as possibly being based on fact.

Still, it's interesting stuff, and although the novel wasn't particularly original, it was an entertaining read. It's worth checking out if you're a fan of the X Files and Majestic in particular.
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