Many gamers would very much like for movies and games to be created separately. The long line of bad video game movies listed at?gamespot.com just confirms that. Movies about games fail to understand the self-insert charm of something where you press buttons to make a character walk this way or talk this way and video games have often failed to offer the quiet, pensive moments or the rounded characters given to us by movies.
However, the two aren’t created in a vacuum, as much as some gamers would like them to be. Video game developers also grew up watching movies, before games found mainstream success, meaning that many of the movie tropes that have been used for decades are now used in some of the most popular games available.
What Are the Most Popular Movie Tropes?
The line of tropes used by movies is a long one, and sites like TVTropes.org have made a name for themselves in detailing the silly or brilliant uses of these narrative devices. A trope is just described as a theme that we see over and over again.
Some of the plot devices we see most often though, explains stuffyoushouldknow.com’s article about movie tropes, are those like the action hero who walks away from explosions, looking incredible (as though anyone with a giant fireball behind them would be doing anything other than running around like a headless chicken!). In horror movies, the character’s flashlights always run out of battery, because while they’re smart enough not to wander around in the dark, they aren’t smart enough to charge the thing before they use it.
Romance movies have longstanding tropes, too. From the ridiculous meet-cutes in coffee shops to declarations of love in airports, it’s surprising that these films make so much money at the box office as, in most cases, we’ve seen these scenes all before. Karen, how did you manage to forget you were in love with someone but you managed to leave out with enough time to catch your flight? We’re just not buying it.
Which Games Use Tropes?
Some games use tropes more than others. In The Legend of Zelda series, lanterns that run out of light quickly are just a small part of the gameplay, but in horror games like Outlast and in thrillers like Alan Wake, running out of battery is one of the main and most scary parts of it.
In some games, though, it’s not just the story or the gameplay that uses tropes, it’s the characters too. The eponymous character of Indiana Jones, Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, and Rich Wilde in the Book of Dead slot at KittyBingo.com are all molded on the badass bookworm and iconic outfit tropes. In the Book of Dead slot game, Wilde wears a brilliant jacket with several pockets, a fashionable scarf and a utility belt, all of which are important parts of the character design as you see them on the Rich Wilde slot symbol on the reels too. Nathan Drake wears a long-sleeved shirt and a bandolier and Indiana Jones has his hat and whip. All three characters are also daring but incredibly smart.
Tropes are widely used by games because they are familiar to players. Games that pack a lot of new ideas may feel strange to players, but by using tropes, players can quickly understand what it is that they may like about a game and why they should play it.