1 hour ago
Monday, May 4, 2015
Your Own Cinematic Universe
I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend and my short review is: it's good. I'm slightly troubled by the degree setting up future films and dealing with "universe" concerns are becoming more and more a part of the Marvel cinematic experience, while perhaps paradoxically also miffed they seem to drop plot threads from previous films. These are small concerns, though. I didn't seriously impair my enjoyment.
I had some game related thoughts after the movie--and maybe this is something everyone else thought of a long time ago and only my comic-centric thinking has kept me from considering it. As I mentioned last week, superhero games are potentially bedeviled by the problems of all licensed property games: fan-players' knowledge and connection to canon, and on the other side of the coin, inaccessibility or at least a steep learning cover for newcomers.
Movies and animation all have to deal with that second problem (They have the first too in a way, but that crowd is much smaller for them.) and they get around it by creating their own universe, by picking and choosing from the existing mythology. Since anyone's in-game version of a comic book universe winds up being an alternate universe anyway, why not make it one from the start? To me, this sort of seems like the best option for getting the advantage of a established universe while having a good deal of creative freedom and not have to sweat your player's knowledge of the comics.
One final note: comics rpgs haven't completely ignore other media, but they tend to focus on trying to recreate the feel of certain other media adaptations rather than the continuity aspects I'm talking about. There haven't been any such supplements for licensed rpgs as far as I know.