Game time versus Cinema time

I had some trouble understanding Galloway’s description on pages 65-67 of how video games and cinema differ in the definition of time.

He says that video games can be paused, sped up, slowed down, and restarted. But movies can do all of this if you are watching them at home also. He states that a movie must “transpire through time in order to be played, to be experienced”. If you pause a movie, i agree that you do loose the flow of it and the experience is different. But if you pause a game, don’t you also loose that flow? Although, video games were made to be paused and picked up again at a later time, so is this the point he is trying to get across?

He then goes on to talk about how in The Matrix, the “bullet time” is actually a gamic cinema, where the aesthetic of games takes over that of cinema. Is he saying that anytime there is slow motion or something is sped up in a movie, it is a game moment? For example, in a romantic comedy where they guy and girl run in slow motion towards each other, is this another example of gamic cinema, because traditional cinema did not do this?

I agree with his hypothesis that games and cinema have played off each other and learned from each other for years. The two mediums are definitely linked.

But if anyone can offer a better explanation of his point here, I would appreciate it.

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2 Responses to Game time versus Cinema time

  1. bgilroy1 says:

    I think you make a good point about Galloway. He spent so much time in the first chapter discussing diegetic and non-diegetic action, and then completely forgets about it in the second chapter when it comes to films. I think using the remote control by the viewer can be classified as a non-diegetic operator act and Galloway assume that you are seeing the film in the theater, where you can’t control what you see as much. However, this book was published in 2006, and so was probably written before then. It seems safe to assume that not as many people had directTV, and I’m fairly certain that Hulu and YouTube did not affect his writing in the least bit.

  2. Hayley Roder says:

    I think Galloway is probably referring to the idea that in film, the story seems horribly and abruptly interrupted when you pause it or stop to come back to it later. You’ve absorbed yourself in the film’s environment and in the characters, and it’s not always meant to be stopped. It’s not necessarily easy to get back into that environment.

    Games, on the other hand, are meant to be stopped, and their environments are easy to place yourself in again. It would take you days to be able to play through some of these games straight through, so you pretty much have to stop–at least to be a normal, functioning, healthy person. 😉 But films are usually about an hour and a half to three hours, at most–a period of time you can usually dedicate to watching the film.

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