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Video Games And Society

            Video games were introduced around 33 years ago, and since then the video game industry has blossomed into a multi billion dollar a year operation. In the last few years, it has surpassed the movie industry in total revenues. This brushfire like popularity of video games certainly proves that it is an unavoidable part of our culture.
             In the last month, there have been two movies and video games that show an important connection with audience and entertainment. These two are The Hulk and The Matrix Reloaded. When watching a movie, it is not uncommon to identify with a character, and imagine what it would be like to be in that characters position. With these two games, The Hulk and Enter the Matrix, the movie experience doesn’t have to end at the theaters. Unlike previous movie licensed games, the plots of these games are heavily interwoven with their respective movies. For example, in the Matrix game, the gamer can assume the identity of one of two characters in the movie, and has to perform missions that relate to plot points in the movie. Near the beginning of The Matrix Reloaded, there is a discussion of the retrieval of a message left inside the matrix. The movie doesn’t actually show how or who picks up the message, but in the game the gamer gets to play out that mission. This gives the audience a chance to actually experience the matrix, instead of just watch.
             The pairing of the matrix movie and game shares ties with Dinkla’s ideas. In Soke Dinkla’s article, “From Participation to Interaction: Towards an Origin of Interactive Art,” Dinkla talks about the happening, a fusion of art and audience. In the past, the movie experience has been mostly passive. The audience sits and watches, and is given no control over the events in the movie. The plot unfolds before their eyes, and the audience is left to draw conclusions. Recent movie licensed video games let the audience interact with the characters and environments shown in the movie, giving a more personal feel through active participation.