Space Ramblings

Frankensteining TV and Video Games

“In what could be a game-changing development in the online entertainment biz, Electronic Arts is partnering with TV format leader Endemol in a creative partnership dubbed Virtual Me. This new digital entertainment concept will try to bridge the divide between traditional TV and videogames.”

Seriously people WE DID THIS ALREADY.

It was called Full Motion Video. It died a horrible and ugly death but not before we had to endure blue and green screen performances by Christopher Walken and Rutger Hauer that could make the dead walk again.

Remember Blade Runner the game, the ultimate achievement in cinematic storytelling? Remember Wing Commander when it degenerated into Mark Hamill shifting around in a blue jumpsuit?

Stop trying to bridge the divide between TV and video games. There is no divide. You play video games on TV. The difference is video games are interactive worlds. TV is a non-interactive medium you stare and veg out in front of. Trying to Frankenstein them together into some sort of UberMedium is stupid and will never ever ever work.

“Virtual Me combines, Bazalgette said, “cutting edge avatar creation technology” from EA with popular TV formats from Endemol to give consumers “a break-through way to meet, compete and socialize in online digital worlds.” In short, the idea, is “to reinvent interactivity so that viewers can create virtual copies of themselves online and experience entertainment brands of all sorts.”

Because of course you can’t create avatars and visit entertainment brands now… oh wait it’s called Second Life and it’s already dying its predictable overhyped death. If you want to make a game, then make a game. If you want to make online games that let people participate in game shows with custom avatars, just do it. But don’t brag too hard about it because it’s already been done before. Long long before. Sierra did it in the early 90’s for crying out loud with the Intertainment Network. And it’s likely to be better than anything these guys come up with.

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