Montageman: A dude who writes

September 5, 2006

House of the Dead (2003)

Filed under: Film, schlock, Uweboll, videogames — montageman @ 4:00 am

When a gamer steps up to an arcade game and grabs the joystick or the light phazer, a feeling of empowerment, of agency, of control washes over him. Viewing a film, however, requires passivity – a surrendering of agnecy in lieu of narrative progression without participation. The gamer’s ability to work within a game world is essential to the experience of gaming – obviously, a game would not be a game without some semblence of playfulness. It is precisely this element of playfulness that Uwe Boll drains from House of the Dead (2003).

Part of what makes other videogame movies more effective is their insistence on not showing the gameplay in the context of the film. Boll’s insistence on using cut scenes from each of the three House of the Dead games works less as a homage and more as a mode of castration. What Boll fails to realize is that he is dealing with a new kind of viewer – a viewer whose agency shouldn’t be taken away and then used to taunt him, rather, the genre of game films should make no qualms about the removal of agency.

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