Yes, even more so than ‘Pixels.’

What if I told you that the ultimate video game movie wasn’t actually based on a video game? You’d likely guess I was talking about Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs the World, which is based instead on a series of graphic novels from writer/artist Bryan Lee O’Malley, and you’d be right. Despite its original medium and the one into which it was translated, Scott Pilgrim relies primarily on video game language, iconography, aesthetics, and even logic to tell its story, making it more than just a film, rather an interactive experience that creates a false but no less palpable participatory vibe, the illusion that we in the audience have some active role in how things turn out.

This is a structure O’Malley employed on the page and Wright brought to full fruition on the big screen, and just how is the subject of the following video essay from Matt Draper that explores the elements of video games Wright employed and how specifically he employed them to craft a user-friendly film that feels like so very much more than just a story. Draper also discusses how the success of Scott Pilgrim can be mirrored by actual video game adaptations to elevate the genre out of its commonly-maligned rut.

Ready player one?

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