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Why I Drink, An Ongoing Series

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 1, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 1, 2010 |

Look, it’s bad enough that Hollywood couldn’t make a good video game movie even if it just pointed a camera at a computer screen for two hours, but at least normally there’s a slender thread of false hope that keeps you from just railing about the stupidity of humanity. Then there’s news like this. A movie version of Rollercoaster Tycoon. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard since The Sims movie, or the Social Network Facebook film inexplicably linked to David Fincher.

Cinema Blend got an interview with Rollercoaster Tycoon director Harald Zwart, you know, the ubermensch behind such near Oscar misses as Pink Panther 2 and Agent Cody Banks. And I’d just like to note that Cinema Blend only put a couple of choice quotes up and summarized. They don’t love you enough to transcribe interviews, not the way that we do here.

The game is a wonderful game. It also doesn’t have a plot other than “you own an amusement park and run it.” So the only possible movie plot can be like that “South Park” episode where Cartman inherits an amusement park, right?

“Well we had a pitch, a story— it’s basically a theme park comes to life.” Dude, there are two fucking elements to that video game: there’s an amusement park and you run it. How can you only hit 50% on a plot outline that vague? Shit, I’m going to dust off my screenplay based on The Great Gatsby, it’s about a talking dog named Rosebud who surfs.

Cinema Blend summed up that “Zwart said the pitch is inspired by the fantasy everyone has as a kid, to be left alone in the theme park to roam freely.” Nope, never had that one. There was the one where I was the last person left alive after a biological holocaust. But I was a weird kid. I didn’t even like Disney Land.

Ok, I’ve got a new answer for Ebert about why gamers care that games are considered art. It’s movies like this. When a book gets raped three ways to Sunday in a film adaptation, film critics scream bloody murder. When a video game does, only the people who play video games care. That’s the difference between an art form being respected and an art form being dismissed.

(source: Cinema Blend)

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.