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How did games become my new movies?

The best games from the beginning of 2008
The best games from the beginning of 2008

I don’t know when it happened exactly, but at some point in the last 5 years, I stopped being a huge movie nut, and transferred some of that love over to video games.  I used to read Premiere magazine, and Entertainment Weekly.  I would surf Film Threat, and Cinematical, Rotten Tomatoes was a weekly pilgramige, and I always knew what new releases were out on video.  My DVD collection was huge, and always growing.

Then a strange thing happened.  About 3 years ago I kind of stopped buying DVD’s.  You can almost see a line in my collection that looks like a growth line in a tree.  Tons of DVD’s, then nothing.

A similar thing happened with my surf habits.  I now visit Gamespot, Giant Bomb, Joystiq, PS3 Fanboy and Xbox 360 Fanboy on a daily basis.

I’ve always been a fan of video games.  I had an Atari 2600 when I was a kid, I got in trouble for going to the Arcade which was across Wharncliffe Ave when I was in grade school.  I spent a lot of time in arcades through high school.  I bought a Super Nintendo in high school (and a 13″ colour TV to play it on even).  I had an Atari Lynx handheld system in high school too.  I played a ton of Warcraft, Half Life, Quake, and got into modding levels for Quake and Half Life in college.  After college I bought a PS2 which led to an Xbox, which eventually led to an Xbox 360, and now a PS3.

So I’ve always had games, and I’ve always read games magazines, but gaming as a lifestyle never appealed to me.  I never considered it as a career, and never even thought about gaming journalism the way I thought about comics and comics journalism, or the way that I considered Movies and TV as a career choice.

What’s kind of strange is that I find myself more and more drawn to gaming, and less turned on by movies.  Oh sure, I still enjoy a good flick, and I’m totally freaking out about Watchmen and the new James Bond flicks, but I’d much rather read about Little Big Workshop, or a review of Gears of War 2, or the latest on the New Xbox Experience than read about movie news anymore.

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.

2 replies on “How did games become my new movies?”

I’m totally in the same boat. I have a rack of about 300 DVDs that has only seen a handful of additions over the past couple years, most of which are Blu-ray titles.

My wife and I used to watch lots of movies – we’d rent 2 or 3 a week. But these days, our time in front of the TV is mostly spent gaming. We’re super behind in watching our favourite TV series as well. I download all of the episodes we watch, but we now have a backlog of about 3 weeks worth of episodes spanning 5 or 6 shows. With Gears of War 2 on the horizon, and at least a couple big titles every week for the next month, it doesn’t look like we’ll be catching up on our TV shows any time soon.

The funny thing, is that I couldn’t care less. I’d much rather be playing a game than watching a TV show or movie. Games are becoming more of a cinematic experience, with excellent stories that are truly engaging. So it’s almost like getting that movie vibe, except you’re controlling the action.

Hey Matt;

Great to see you here. I’ve been a long time lurker of your site for ages. Everyone who pops by here should check out Matt’s site at MattBrett.com. He’s a fellow web monkey who travels in many of the same web circles I used to…and yet somehow we’ve never met.

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