Controlling the narrative


Since when on earth do we as game players, movie / TV watchers or music listeners get to dictate how our favourite form of entertainment turns out? Yes, we put faith in developers, writers, musicians and directors to tell a story, write a piece of music, develop a game to our satisfaction, but not for one second do we have a right to dictate how it turns out. Yes this is something I feel strongly about so thought I’d put my thoughts down in a post.

The recent Star Wars movies for example have not been to everyone’s taste (and neither do they have to be) but there has been an uprising in recent times of a certain, very vocal group of people who seem to want to alter how things turn out to their liking, and go about review-bombing, shouting their disdain on social media and in YouTube videos, as if they really believe their anger and (somewhat entitled) attitude will change how something is. Boo hoo they say, they ruined Star Wars for me! Wake up, they were not making it just for YOU. Real art is largely about the creator / designer / artist and if people like it that’s great but it’s not the point of a creative work. A creative work is to be creative!

Oh we didn’t like our favourite band’s new album? That was ‘their’ vision, not yours. You didn’t like it – move on, there are plenty of other albums out there you might like. In games, The Last of Us 2 is a prime example. It takes risks and introduces (dare I say it) bold twists and revelations to tell it’s story. It’s not just a carbon copy of its predecessor like many games before it. It’s borrowing narrative story telling from TV and movies to push the medium in a direction we don’t normally see. Yet some fans are butt-hurt because it’s not the game they expected – er, did it have to be? Were the game designers primarily focused on pleasing their fans, or did they actually want to be imaginative and creative? That’s how story telling is meant to work. We as fans don’t get to write the story. We are the audience and if we don’t like it we don’t have to play it. Jeez, write a review, post a comment but don’t believe that you can make something you don’t like change – isn’t that a little egotistical?? To such people I say: Quit your wining because Santa didn’t bring the exact present you wanted. It’s not all about you.

So yes, we don’t get to control the narrative of popular entertainment, The most tiresome entertainment is often that which panders to what is popular or expected. Thrilling entertainment surprises and takes risks. If it’s art we are here to experience it, love it or hate it but the point is we are reacting and that’s all that’s necessary. A creator should not compromise their own creation based on a reaction if it’s something they themselves are proud of. We don’t dictate it to our own agenda, that’s what personal taste is all about, we can choose to watch a different movie, we can play a different game. So enough with the hate. Quit the review-bombing in hopes of changing a meta-critic score. You’re not here to dictate, rather you’re here to respond and have your opinion but remember… it’s your opinion and like the entertainment itself … nobody has to agree.

Nerve


Viewed – 21 July 2016  online rental

A high school senior decides to take part in an online game involving a series of dares, run by a group of anonymous ‘watchers’, after feeling pressured to be more bold and extrovert like her best friend.  However once embroiled into the game, it quickly becomes clear there’s more sinister motives at play.

Nerve

I liked the idea of this from the trailer and have found Emma Roberts more than just the niece of Julia Roberts whenever I’ve seen her in stuff.  Here she’s well cast as a likeable but somewhat shy teen who see’s the game as a way of coming out of her shell.  With the concept of the dares always becoming increasingly risky and dangerous It became quite exciting wondering what would happen next.  James Franco’s younger brother I’m guessing Dave Franco is onboard as another player that teams up with Roberts and the two of them become an unlikely pairing as the stakes grow higher and higher.  With a backdrop of a neon soaked New York by night, a pumping EDM soundtrack and plenty of energy I found this entertaining from beginning to end.  It’s also a scarily believable concept that people might get caught up in such risky online games via their phones, what with the allure of money and popularity and leader boards etc.

Sadly, the movie comes undone in it’s closing moments with a conclusion that for me didn’t entirely make sense; with hacking used to gloss over a bit of a plot hole.  Yet up until that point I’d been having a blast.  It has a strong visual identity and bags of energy and at least kept the whole idea grounded in reality when it could have easily gone nuts.  One to check out.

Verdict:  3.5 /5