Among gamers who are intent on adding to the conversation about how games can become more widely recognized as art, the name L.A. Noire is very tantalizing indeed. Critics and fans are pretty much united in the belief that a strong cinematic background will play quite well with the noir-inspired 1940s setting--and let's not forget the depth of acting that can be portrayed by the MotionScan technology.
But sadly, those outside the sphere of gaming are likely not as impressed. Any CG creature on a screen without some sort of Pixar flair can be easily recognized as a videogame character, and many mainstream onlookers aren't willing to look at a game and not brush it off as another Call of Duty.
That may change, however, with the help of groups like the Tribeca Film Festival, now in its ninth year. Originally founded by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro, it has sought to honor the medium of film and reinvigorate New York as an artistic center. And this year, L.A. Noire will be the first game to earn a place alongside the dozens of world premiers and producer panels about award-winning films.
Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser is, no surprise, excited about the opportunity. "It's a real honor, and another step forward for interactive entertainment." The panel will consist of a short gameplay demonstration of a single case, followed by an exploration of the technology that makes the game's level of acting possible, and a Q&A session with head producers.
While my cynical side wants to imagine a lot of PR spin going into this event, making it yet another big-budget advertisement for a big-budget game, it's still a pretty huge occasion. It's not often that games are invited to venues like this without a lot of marketing dollars changing hands, and for a game to be honored at a large international film festival represents a huge leap forward for the recognition of the medium by the public at large.
If you plan to be in the New York area on April 25, you can be part of the event. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on the 18th, so check with Tribeca!