Can Gaming Make The Jump To Television?

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Can Gaming Make The Jump To Television?

An interesting new phenomenon is shaping up as far as gaming goes, and that's with games making a jump to television. But the trend is growing thanks to some recent new reports that make a new game headed for television.

Recently, the SyFy Channel got involved with a similar phenomenon, bringing out the MMO with a television show equivalent in Defiance. Defiance was some terrific stuff, sure; I'm still rather enamored with it myself. But now, a new version has arrived with reports of EVE Online getting its own television series.

Called Eve Universe, it's stemming from a partnership between CCP Games and Baltasar Kormakur's production company, and it takes the stories submitted by EVE Online players and turns them into full-on television episodes. Given that Kormakur has already done such movies as "Contraband" with Mark Wahlberg, it's clear that this isn't likely to be some cheap affair. There are certainly more than enough stories of wild action, clever double-crosses, and plain old weirdness out there for anyone--consider the stories of Haargoth Agamar of the Band of Brothers guild, or the killing of Mirial of the Ubiqua Seraph corporation--and it's clear there's plenty of room for a series here.

What's really interesting here is that there are, progressively, more venues available out there for content, but where is the content coming from to fill these venues? With an increasing number of cable networks in play out there and a rapidly increasing number of streaming venues, it's clear that the material to show up on these venues will have to come from somewhere. Using video games--especially those which generate their own stories on a regular basis--is a fairly smart idea. It's been widely noted that, before G4 imploded, it was heavily into video game related content. Shows like "Code Monkeys" and "Cinematech"--not to mention "Cheat" and perennial review / news favorite "X-Play"--gave the network plenty of gamer appeal. Bringing back content about video games is offering content to a largely untapped niche.

If gaming is to make the leap to television on a larger scale than it has in the past, it's going to need good content. Looking to modern-era video games for that content may produce just what's needed, but what we're seeing right now won't be enough in the long run. There are some great examples out there of indie fare going this route--consider "The Guild" or "Video Game High School"--but it's going to take a lot more than that.
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