My new favorite trailer.

I know I talk about Understanding Comics on this blog a lot, but that’s only because it so succinctly presents so many fundamental ideas of human communication. (I propose, yet again, that you should read it. Yes, you. Even if you hate comics.)

One of the ideas presented in Understanding Comics is how the lack of realism in art forms like comics and animation actually lends itself to greater acceptance of the ideas presented. We see things that look real enough to be recognizable but obviously aren’t; this allows us to accept things happening to and with these things that in a realistic medium would look jarring and out of place.

Simple example: Batman’s ability to effectively teleport when nobody is looking at him (this trope is known as the Stealth Hi/Bye). Commissioner Gordon looks away for a second, the camera follows his gaze – and when he looks back Batman is gone. The comics have presented Batman as being able to do this in a moving vehicle. We accept it completely in those media. But in the more realistic medium of film, our first thought would not be “Wow, that’s cool!” but “There’s no way he could have done that.” Don’t believe me? Go back and look at the Christopher Nolan films and notice how few Stealth Hi/Byes Batman pulls.

Video games have the incredibly enviable advantage of having that same acceptance as comics and animation, while adding the additional benefit of interactivity. And video games aren’t stuck in a kiddie rut like American animation is. Creators of video games are using its advantages to give us visuals and situations that we couldn’t see/hear/experience in any other medium.

I guess this is a really long-winded way of saying that I’m far more enthusiastic about the release of games than of most movies nowadays.