Monday, May 03, 2010

Avatar MMORPG?

I hate Avatar. A quick look at my Facebook profile, it's apparent that I have a great displeasure for the movie. While it has propelled the world forward from a visual standpoint, it has pulled mankind back to a primitive story-land. When I initially heard of the film, I was thinking 2 things would happen: it would have a unique storyline, and it would tank. I was wrong on both fronts. The fact that it did so well with such a horribly unoriginal story makes me wonder about the future of humanity. I have yet to find a single feature in Avatar's story that makes it "unique" from other films.

And I know I'm not the only one that thinks so. Take the Fern Gully/Avatar trailer mash up:

Amusing how the two are in sync. Pocahontas. Dances with Wolves. Same movie. Different title.

In an attempt to find to the positive, my thought is that maybe the story was dummed down intentionally. Knowing that the visuals would be overpowering to the senses, that having a story just as intense would cause the audience to remove themselves from the experience. Pearl Harbor, the most recent Disney incarnation, is a good example of this. Great visuals, but once you convoluted the story into a multitude of layers, it drew people away from the story. Not that the story was all that great to begin with, but having numerous directions can cause conflict. The concept works in the other direction as well. Inglorious Bastards. Extremely detailed script with multiple stories weaving into one. The visuals, simple. Simple sets. Simple shots. Simple camera movements. It allows the audience to find their way into the movie without too many distractions.

Considering the heavy dose of LSD colors and lush environment of Avatar, a simple story would help the audience. But the story is too simple. My brother, who will watch anything and everything and can find the positive in all, didn't like it.

My other issue is that the story was not James Cameron's style. One of his big themes as an auteur is the resilience of the human spirit. Terminator, Titanic, Aliens are just a few of his films that carry the theme. Avatar doesn't. Instead, humans are the bad guys and need to be removed. Great message that all humans are bad. Maybe that's why people were depressed when the movie ended. If it weren't for the visuals, I never would have known that James Cameron made this film. All of his signature styles with scripting were gone.

Truly, Avatar is a piece of film garbage. It's only good for being pretty and having lots of shiny colors. Which is apparently enough to entertain the world. Because now we're going to be stuck with remakes and rehashing the same stories for quite some time. "If Avatar did it and made a ton of money, we can do it too!" Thank you world for killing the dreams of new comers into the art of film. We get to have A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas and Little Fockers instead. The real film community appreciates your support.

Tieing this back into the intial topic, Avatar the MMO game is in the early stages of development. Now, I'm not opposed to this, assuming that the game will have a story that is more...unique. The way Avatar the movie plays, the audience would have a better experience by becoming a character. The idea of transformation into another creature has a better stage as a video game. As long as they don't allow the movie's story to take place in the realm. That would set up the game for disaster, which is why the current console game is crap. You get the most fun out of being a human and shooting at bushes on the ground. Yippie.

You can't take the console version and make it into an MMO. Nor can you take the movie and turn it into an MMO. It needs to be free from all constraints and allow the user to do what they want. The user has to be allowed to make their own story on Pandora. That is what will make Avatar the MMO a better experience from the movie. So this is my plea to the developers: Don't limit your creativity. Allow yourself to explore outside the boundaries of the film. You'll be amazed at what you come up with.

I want to have some form of hope for the Avatar MMO. But let's face it. Video games based off of movies suck. Movies based off of video games suck. No one has managed to get it right. And I don't think anyone will within the next decade.


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