Friday, March 23, 2007

Videogames: Metaphors For Your Life?

The new post-9/11 drama Reign Over Me is getting decent reviews, but what has caught my eye about the movie is that reviewers are mentioning that Adam Sandler's isolated character is wrapped up in Shadow of the Colossus, one of my most favoritest games.

Sayeth Anthony Lane in the New Yorker:

For kicks, [Charlie] likes to sit in his apartment and play a video game, “Shadow of the Colossus,” on a huge screen. Over time, we discover the colossus in whose shadow Charlie lurks and mumbles to himself. He lost a wife and three daughters on September 11, 2001, and then he lost the capacity to admit that he had a wife and three daughters in the first place.
And Scott Foundas in the Village Voice:
Five years on, Charlie Fineman is still in a state of shock and awe, which we know not just because his grooming and social skills have gone to pot, but because he can't seem to stop renovating and re-renovating his kitchen—part of an unfulfilled promise to his late wife—and because he spends copious hours in front of a video game called Shadow of the Colossus, in which he can repeatedly lay waste to the evil forces he was powerless to defeat in life.
Hmmm. What does it say about me that this is a game that I also hold dear? I certainly enjoyed the lonely, melancholic atmosphere of the game. From what I've read about the movie, such loneliness seems to be a central feature of Charlie's life. I can't think that I have any colossi looming over me, though.

Still, it is nice to see games used in movies as emblems of something other than juvenile self-absorption, even though it would appear that SotC is presented as a substitute for Charlie's real life. Can any readers think of other movies in which games were used to illustrate important elements of a character?

1 comment:

Jeff said...

In the movie Super Mario Bros., the video game Super Mario Brothers was used to illustrate the central conceit that the characters in Super Mario Bros. were characters from Super Mario Brothers.