Posted on January 30, 2023
Craig Maizin’s adaptation of the video game The Last of Us has been fantastic so far, but I have been worried about the repetitiveness of the video game seeping into the story telling.
After Episode 3, I no longer have that concern.
One of the many, many reasons video game adaptations fail is that the nature of addictive game play runs counter to interesting storytelling. The interest in playing the game is experiential whereas in a story it’s more passive.
In a game, you don’t notice that you’re basically locked in an escalating repetition – going there, finding your way, killing the boss, repeat – because you are the one doing it.
This is the reason I’ve never understood Twitch, but I suppose watching others play video games operates on the same empathetic level as watching professional sports.
Think about the dichotomy like this: video games are action with a little bit of story to divert the player’s attention from the patterns while stories are about characters with a little bit of action to open them up.
Episode 3’s lovely and timely (and largely infected free) story showed us that Maizin is fully aware of this to a degree that we can now relax and watch the rest of the show excited about what new delights may be coming our way.