A reader writes:
No, they aren't. My husband is a gamer. In fact, as I type this, he's playing Left 4 Dead with a group of friends all over the country. They get together three times a week to kill zombies, drink beer, and talk smack. It's the 21st Century version of a bowling league. We've sat down and talked about why he'd rather play video games than watch movies. He's given me a variety of answers. I'll do my best to sum them up.
First, the amount of money invested is worth it. He paid $50.00 for that game in the middle of a recession. He plays it for 8 to 10 hours a week. A movie simply can't do that. Second, it's interactive. As much as movies want audience input the focus groups often get it dead wrong. Sappy endings, terrible dialog, and horrific plots. Video games allow for user generated content that is truly unique. If his map isn't good no one will play it. A focus group doesn't need to tell him that. Third, it involves skill. I've watched my husband practice getting moves just right so he can beat levels. It takes time, patience, and willingness. Movies can't offer that. Lastly, the plot lines are becoming more detailed and timely. Sure, the original Mario Brothers called for a quest to save a Princess, but in games like Katamari Damacy is a comment on consumerism and the quest to fill one's life with stuff.
Hollywood should take note of how well the video game industry is doing, and how they are innovating their products. If they don't they won't see people like myself or my husband in the theaters for quite some time.