There was a time when video game developers seemed to be seeking approval from a wider, more mainstream audience.
Games were child's play, or so non-gamers seemed to think. I believe that's one of the reasons, maybe even right behind money, that so many developers seemed interested in having their games turned into movies. It was the ultimate form of acceptance by a global audience.
But games have far outgrown that need for acceptance, as have the people who make them. Movies based on games, though, seem to keep coming.
After watching a particularly spectacular session of people playing a bit of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, I sat down with one of the Playstation 3 game's lead designers to talk about his games.
I am an unabashed fan of Naughty Dog's work on the Uncharted games. They are spectacular, I told Richard Lemarchand. They're so wonderful, so character-driven in such a unique way, they shouldn't become movies, I said.
Make people come to gaming to enjoy this experience, I told Lemarchand. If they don't want to play games, they don't deserve to experience Uncharted.
Of course, that's not happening. Director David O. Russell, the man behind Three Kings, Flirting With Disaster and I ♥ Huckabees, has already signed on to direct the Columbia Pictures flick with Mark "Say hello to your mother for me" Wahlberg portraying lead Nathan Drake.
And Lemarchand seems OK with it.
"We are at an exciting time in terms of the history of play as culture and story-telling," he said. "We really are right now in the middle of the transmedia age."
Transmedia storytelling involves telling stories across a number of different mediums. You can, for instance, extend the fiction of a game through comic books, alternate reality gameplay, marketing and, of course, movies.
That's what's happening here, Lemarchand said. The movie won't be a retelling of the events of any or all of the video games, it will be its own story. A story that will still have some connections between the movie and the video games, he said.
But in the end, it will be Russell's story to tell.
"We know," Lemarchand said. "David is keen to make a film that carries his voice."