Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The beginning of a beautiful friendship: Des Pixels a Hollywood




In the premature days of console and arcade game entertainment, the greatest entrepreneurs of the newfound industry sought the support of the motion picture industry in an attempt to promote their products. During the late 1970's, Atari was one of the fastest growing companies in the world on account of their pioneering home entertainment products. One of the most crucial factors originating this synergy between film and electronic games came from Atari's decision to accept the famed Warner Communications deal - said to have generated around 30 million dollars at the time, a shocking figure considering the company had been founded not ten years before with less than 1500 dollars.

As Warner eventually took over the company, firing the original founder Nolan Bushnell, the Atari VCS - then the most successful console world over - was used as a launch pad for the release of numerous movie to home videogame adaptations. With the success of coin operated games like STAR WARS ARCADE, the tie-in between Warner group movies and Atari console games implied no further investment as all was originating from the one and all-encompassing corporation. Often deriving from particular scenes from the original film, these game adaptations were greatly successful during the 1980s up until today. And while they've earned their reputation as minor games, generally created only for the purpose of feeding the commercial machine, such adaptations exist today in larger and more profitable figures than ever anticipated.

In his debut book entitled Des Pixels a Hollywood, scheduled for release next month, Alexis Blanchet discusses this long lasting and thriving partnership between the Cinema and interactive digital media with admirable depth. In his examination of common inspirations, Blanchet produces a comprehensive academic study concerning the different interpretations of similar themes from contemporaneous fiction. Apart from the historical background of how the two industries came to be jovial companions, the author also retraces some of the most enlightening examples of how videogames, regardless of its country of origin, possess such an umbilical bond to Hollywood film and its inescapable references. At a time when technology appears to be opening a new road where both will be able to converge like never before,
Des Pixels a Hollywood comes as an essential reading - perhaps regrettably, at the risk of denouncing the frail creative structures upon which the majority of popular videogames are based.

Purchase this book from the Pix'N Love online store.

2 comments:

c.bren said...

you collaborated with Koji Ueno! So exciting to see these connections. I am very interested in Guernica, suddenly. I had known of Keiichi Ohta as a visual artist for a while before I heard of Guernica.

c.bren said...

Tonight I watched some very interesting animations "Pereval" and "Vozvrascheniye" by the artist Vladimir Tarasov that reminded me in some ways the aesthetic in your work