The Adaptive Contexts of Videogame Adaptations and Franchises across Media
Videogame adaptations have been a staple of cinema and television since the 1980s and have had a consistent presence despite receiving overwhelmingly negative reactions. Recognising the perseverance of videogame adaptations, I examine some of the key issues and debates surrounding the genre with in-depth analysis of the source material, the machinations of the film and videogame industries, and the films themselves, specifically relating to three prominent onscreen videogame adaptations. Following an introduction to the various theories and areas of study already performed in this field, all of which I incorporate into an intricate, blended methodology, I explore issues of fidelity, localisation, and evolution that occur when adapting Sonic the Hedgehog out of the confines of its limited narrative. In examining adaptations of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, I explore how cinematic genres (such as the Hong Kong martial arts and American action movies) have influenced the creation of videogames and the production of their film and television adaptations. Finally, I delve into the history of zombie horror films, which influenced the Resident Evil franchise. As this became the longest-running (and, by extension, most successful) live-action videogame franchise, I explore the complex production of videogame adaptations, their critical and financial reception, and their ability to evolve into multimedia franchises. Overall, my work is designed to take videogame adaptations seriously by examining them through in-depth analysis, exploring how they convey the gameplay mechanics of their source material, analysing why they remain so popular despite their negative reputation, and by establishing an academic framework by which to discuss them with the same reverence afforded to literary adaptations.
- PhD