Evening Reading: When Will Then Be Now?

By Garnett Lee, Dec 21, 2009 6:00pm PST On Sunday I followed the herd to see Avatar. By that time the buzz had run quite a course. The initial rush of ooh's and ahh's gave way to people breaking it down a little more to talk about how impressed they were with the show put on by the tech. Whispers also started to crop up that maybe beyond that things like the story and character development are uneven and lack refinement.

It's funny how much that sounds like a review for a videogame. As gamers we tend to get caught up in the technology of a game, particularly if it boasts any sort of innovation. Much of this response stems from the simple nature of how quickly video gaming rose into the entertainment space. It seems like for the longest time we could easily point to the next innovation before the last had even started to cool. PC gamers know this better than any after watching a video card that cost $500 one day hit the bargain bin six months later.

Filmmaking matured more slowly over a course of decades. The result of this left only a few times when a movie came out that dramatically changed the way things are done. For the most part great movies became about using the tools of the day to capture great stories and performances.

We've started to see some of this in video games, I think, as the technology has reached a point where it's increasingly difficult to put something on the screen that really blows away the best of last year. This next generation of consoles will certainly be hard pressed. It will take a lot more than just a slightly prettier picture to convince people to drop their cash. Could it be then that this would be the last cycle for a long time to come? And would that birth the next video game renaissance as developers didn't have to chase tech for three quarters of project?

You won't have to go on any chases to find our stories of the day:

It probably wouldn't make it on Letterman but this cat riding a roomba and bitch-slapping a pit bull is good for a chuckle.

This might not have been exactly the use Google had in mind but this Year in Review captured on a Google Wave video is really cool.

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