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Arts and Entertainment

Hollywood and the Video Game World

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Strewn across local news stations and gaming websites alike, film titan Steven Spielberg is gaining relatively high momentum regarding the lending of his name to Boom Blox, the newest children’s release title from Los Angeles-based EA Games. LAist recently got a chance to play around with the cute little block-shaped animals in what’s called in modern tech parlance, the “casual entertainment” sector of the gamersphere.

Stepping out of the hardcore gamer paradigm, its quite apparent that Spielberg did in fact make an intelligent decision by putting his name on the Boom Blox label. Figure this: the entire game is centered around throwing objects strategically into a set of different blocks, the primary objective being the use gravity to your advantage by knocking down just the right block to bring down a whole tower. That’s right; the only motion you’re using with your Wii-Mote is a throwing movement. And who doesn’t love throwing things? This is an incredibly simple platform for a game, easily transposable into next generation console technology.

Now you may wonder how a simple game like this required even the most remote involvement from a guy who had bigger things to think about (read: Indy 4), but at the very surface, it was his idea. Boom Blox is in fact the first of three planned collaborations that Spielberg has with EA's casual gaming division. There's no overbearing story, plot twists, or identifiable protagonist; you're just trying to fend off the Bandits from stealing Boots McBeaverton's gold by blasting towers down with Bomb Blox.

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So how did these two seemingly mutually exclusive subjects come together? Clearly Nintendo struck a chord with Spielberg, one of the first major film figures to lend his name to a video game. But does Spielberg see something that we don't? Why not contribute his production expertise to an Indiana Jones video game, full of humor, depth, and interaction? What would it mean if Hollywood penetrated the video game world and produced content in a similar fashion?

Positing these questions is simply an attempt to understand Spielberg's interest in gaming. It would appear that he's taking baby steps, which is nothing short of strategic. We'll just have to see how gaming evolves with Hollywood iterations. Until then, we'll just have to be content saving The Bahhhs from the mighty Grrr Army with our Chem Blox.