"Shaping the Community" - Games Need To Be More Like Film?

filmreel.jpg Gamasutra has a piece up by Andy Robertson on what the game industry can learn from the film industry - at least in terms of fostering a sense of community. Game companies, you see, are apparently falling down on the job of giving their fans some "ownership" in the final product. It's transparency of the design/production process that makes the hit! Who knew? Lord of the Rings wouldn't have been as successful a film without the rabid community surrounding the films (hasn't Tolkein always enjoyed a mass following of dedicated fans)? Halo 3 is a hit because of relative transparency between company and fans? The Playstation blog is turning around years of crappy PR for Sony? Maybe it's just the fact that I'm on my last nerve after a week of fires, declining air quality, and more fires in San Diego, but my gut reaction is 'You've got to be kidding me':

As the games industry takes innovative steps to communicate with and involve the wider public in their process, there is a lot that can be learnt from the films industry. It is clear that, just as with films, it is essential that it enables its audiences to feel a sense of ownership of the media they purchase. We can achieve this with transparent and honest communication — be it a blog, podcast or video.

It's nice that people like Joss Wheedon and the actors involved in Firefly were all about 'going to the people,' but writing a book - or making a movie - or designing a game are creative processes that belong to someone else. 'Lack of ownership' has never bothered me when it comes to the media I consume - just because I like it a lot doesn't mean I have any role in it than ponying up cash (and I'm OK with that). Lack of transparent process hasn't stopped a frighteningly rabid fan base from springing up around Square Enix or a million other examples that are probably more representative than Firefly. So, dear Kotaku readers, what do you think? Does transparency in process make any difference to you? Or were those of you who were combing Bungie forums for Halo 3 news going to buy the damn game anyways?

Shaping Your Community: What Films Did, Games Must Do


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