During the early-’90s, full-motion video, or FMV, games were a huge trend but the trend died off as 3D polygonal graphics became possible. The original full-motion video games were constrained by the limited color palettes of early-’90s video game systems and many of the games were poorly executed. The games lacked the level of interaction that Street Fighter 2 and Super Mario World players wanted, but the video game world and entertainment environment have changed drastically since the days of Night Trap and Sewer Shark and there are reasons to believe that an FMV renaissance could be lurking around the corner.
Filming Is Cheaper Than Ever
In the early-’90s, it was expensive to film anything that looked any better than a home video. The conversion to digital “film” and the increasing quality of “pro-sumer” filming equipment have torn down the technological gatekeepers, allowing indie filmmakers to thrive. This provides the perfect economic environment to let indie filmmakers take a chance on FMV video games.
Cheap Storage Space and Streaming Abilities
The original FMV video games were stored on multiple compact discs, constraining how much footage could go into a single game. These days, we have Blu-Ray and DVDs with many times the storage capacity of those old compact discs. Not to mention the fact that hard drives have grown to previously unimaginable sizes and internet transmission occurs at speeds that were unthinkable a decade ago. The ability to transmit and store extensive FMV games is here.
Make Your Own Endings
We live in an age where everyone can have their voice heard through social media and blogging, leading to previously impossible levels of scrutiny regarding every detail of every television show and movie. Imagine creating a “make your own adventure” style indie movie where the ending and critical moments are chosen by the “viewer” based on an algorithm set up using their earlier “tells” or even their Facebook profile. The possibilities are endless.
Touchscreen Tablets and Smart Phones
The proliferation of touchscreen devices like tablets and smart phones cannot be denied. These devices lend themselves to forms of mildly interactive entertainment like classic FMV video games.
Hipsters love things that elicit a sense of nostalgia. FMV video games do that. Hipsters love vintage things. It’s been nearly 20 years since FMV games were selling Sega CD video game consoles. Hipsters love under-appreciated things. FMV games were always looked down upon by the video game press, but now these full-motion video games offer a viable entertainment option in this new technological landscape.
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