Monday, 29 June 2009

Fight Scenes

I watched the new Transformers movie on the weekend, taking the time to treat my wife and I to one of the lounge-style cinemas. We ordered some nachos and a couple of hot drinks to come in a little after half-way through the movie. Now nachos aren't the easiest things to eat, and it takes some hand-eye coordination to get the food with the right balance of ingredients, and put that food in the mouth. It's just tricky enough to force me to take my eyes off the screen.

I had to make a choice: watch the movie so that I don't miss anything, or watch the food so that I don't drop anything.

And this is the moment when I realised something about stories and plots, and how it has now affected the way I watch stories and the way I run roleplaying games. I remember, quite clearly, thinking, "It's just an action sequence. All that matters is who wins and what happens to the characters after the fight."

For the theorists out there, this is a case of Scene Resolution rather than Task Resolution. For me (in the here and now), the only importance of a fight scene is how it impacts on the plot, so much so that I can look away from the Michael Bay extravaganza of Optimus Prime battling half a dozen Decepticons by himself... just so I can each nachos, and I don't feel as though I've lost anything.

This is how I like to run games these days, but I hadn't expect it to have such an impact on the way I watch movies.

(By the way, if you liked the first Transformers movie, you'll like the sequel. Enjoy!)
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