Multiplayer Gaming: Bigger than Hollywood.

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Forget watching Iron Man and thinking you're superhero-with-attitude Tony Stark. Multiplayer video games allow you to be a Tony Stark-type character.

It's this interactivity and customizability, says Tom Chatfield

of The Guardian, that explains why multiplayer gaming has surpassed moviegoing as society's imaginative escape of choice.

Pixels and Policy investigates.

A New Paradigm for Entertainment

From the article:

There is, in the games industry at the moment, a sense that boundaries
are being broken every year. Take the increasingly important phenomenon
of massively multiplayer online gaming, embodied above all in the
phenomenally successful World of Warcraft.

Such games involve not only
the construction of online virtual worlds used by thousands of people
simultaneously but, more crucially, the maintenance and development of
these worlds: something that can approach the complexity of running a
city, or even a small country.

Interactivity is the key to engagement, and online gaming has this field down to a science.

Anyone who has ever spent hours questing for a virtual reward with no real-world value understands the importance of being the leader of your own fantasy story.

Movies simply don't offer this kind of interactivity, putting them at an increasing disadvantage as more first-time users discover virtual worlds.

Why Virtual Worlds Work as Entertainment

Movies ask you to suspend disbelief for a pre-existing story. This is a shortfall of film in an age where players can customize everything about an online avatar and choose which paths to follow for a story that appeals to their innermost passions and interests.

Online games are so successful because they don't cater to a "story" which may not be interesting to many people – online games allow the user to create the story as they progress. Not surprisingly, this is attracting some of the best directors and writers from film to experiment with the possibilities of online gaming. As the article says:

These are not only gamers or computer programmers: television
producers, writers, actors, directors, musicians, even performance
artists are flocking towards the medium.

In 2008, for instance, Steven
Spielberg was credited as lead designer on a game, Boom Blox, for the Nintendo Wii…It
was a game he had devised himself…aimed at creating an interactive version of the kind of cinematic space
he made his own – somewhere where parents and children come together to
share a creative experience.

We already see games like Halo receiving releases with the hype and publicity of movies, and we see movies about multiplayer online gaming coming out as rapidly as studios can produce them. Will multiplayer gaming reach a point where it is respected and followed in society as a whole the same way movies are today?

4 thoughts on “Multiplayer Gaming: Bigger than Hollywood.”

  1. wow, great blog! i am so glad you left a comment for me, i will read this blog for sure
    good perspective and i can imagine an avatar on the cover of People, Ansche Chung made it on Business Week
    lol, a former contributing editor of Wired wants to try to get me on its cover (lol)
    and Pixels & Policies is a great name! =)

  2. Ener, thanks for the wonderful compliment, I’m glad you enjoy the blog. We’re small as of yet, but content is king and we’re working to provide the best!

  3. I recently came across your blog and have been reading alot . I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. Thanks …
    Jonathan Brown

  4. PixPol………I read both your articles every day so you can’t be that small if I’m reading you.
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