Would These Film Genres Make Good Video Games?

Would These Film Genres Make Good Video Games?

Video games cover a lot of ground, but commenter Lannyandcarl believes there are still many untapped genres just waiting for some gaming love in today’s. That’s the touching coming of age story in today’s Speak-Up on Kotaku.

A strange thought occurred to me this past weekend, there are a lot of genres that are used in other forms of media that video games do not even attempt to exploit. I was looking back at an old article about the possibility of a musical in video game form, and three questions popped into my head. Can this be done? Why hasn’t it been done yet? What other genres due video games portray sparsely? The answers to the first and second questions were easy enough to answer. Sure it could be done, why not, but the limitation is the game industry itself; it is a business and I understand sometimes many developers do not want to take risks. Now I come to the point of this post, what genres would I like (and other people) to see video games explore in the future? (Just a simple list.)

1. Coming of age drama: I love The Breakfast Club, the themes of acceptance, finding purpose in life, growing up, and general teenage drama in a more realistic setting could be really interseting and has not been done yet to the extent of my knowledge.

2. Blaxploitation: Not much to say about this one except it could work great as a video game, maybe like a GTA, Mafia, or Max Payne.

3. Musicals: From the post by Crecente.

4. Cyber-Punk: There are some (Deus-Ex) but there need to be more.

5. Magical Girl: Could be fun who knows.

6. Slice of Life: Maybe too slow for a game, but who cares.

7. Homosexuality: This isn’t really a genre, but it underused in video games.

8. Biographies / Historical Drama: Severely underused.

9. Gokudō: Could be awesome.

10. Bollywood: I have never seen it done but the combination of overly dramatic close-ups, dancing, and catchy music is intriguing.

11. Mystery Science Theater: Again, not a genre, but the idea of taking older really bad games, and playing them again with jokes, trivia, riffing, developer commentary, or whatever is awesome.

About Speak-Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That’s why we have that little forum on Kotaku called Speak-Up. That’s the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we’ll pull one of the best Speak-Up posts we can find and highlight it here.


  • 1. Coming of age drama: I love 8mm, the themes of acceptance, finding purpose in life, growing up, and general teenage drama in a more realistic setting could be really interseting and has not been done yet to the extent of my knowledge.

  • Closest thing I can think of for Gokudo is Kane & Lynch 2 – but mostly in the cheap and poor part, and less the Yakuza.

  • Interesting post.

    Do games struggle with non-violent or non-competitive genres? There would need to be a new interface for, say, emotions (LA Noire-esque) if designers were going for a ‘coming of age’ drama.

  • Blaxploitation could be completely awesome if done right. Bernie Casey, Avery Brooks, Samuel L Jackson, Pam Grier, James Earl Jones, Richard Roundtree… Oh and the soundtrack would be bloody amazing!

    Midgespoitation could also be good, google “The Terror Of Tiny Town” and then try to imagine a miniature version of red dead redemption

  • I think Red Dead Redemption is a good step in the development of a musical. It is true that music wasn’t the driving force of the narrative for the whole game and the songs were never sung by a character. However the few times it was used it provided poignant explanation of the character’s feelings and a definitive mark in the progression of the plot.

  • The writing level of gaming isn’t yet mature enough to do a coming of age drama. While we have some incredible, moving writing in gaming, drama has too many permutations for games to handle realistically – are you forced into 1 love interest? What about her? What about him? What about if I choose to uproot and become a runaway teen?

    There’s too many possibilities. The game engine/coversation tree would be broken too easily.

  • I think given the fact that Blaxploitation is now a dead genre that only receives homages every few years, and given that video games are still a lightning rod of controversy and moral panic (just look at the Bulletstorm controversy and the since-axed Wolfenstein Mod for the pinnacle of such ridiculousness), a blaxploitation game would be 1) poorly received, but more importantly 2) never even make it to the drawing board unless it was super indie and somehow managed to avoid hitting too many culturally sensitive spots.

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