Thursday, March 6, 2014

Television HUD Creep

Image from PopMatters
This week at PopMatters, I write about the HUDs I see on TV.

Part of this column was a bit of me on my soapbox talking about cinematic games.  It's easy to see games certain games as becoming more and more like movies, but that doesn't mean that there is some kind of artistic trickle-down effect.  Games borrow from TV and movies, but inspiration flows the in all directions.

I've mentioned it before, but the visual conversion between real sports and their video game representations is striking.  Polygonal players are more realistic every year, whereas live broadcasts incorporate more UI elements all the time.  We see CGI finish lines, dynamic timers, highlighted players whether we're holding a remote or a controller.

Of course, the real inspiration of this post was seeing the pop-up texts that House of Cards uses to integrate texting into scenes.  I just started watching the show and had no idea it employed this technique.  Apparently Sherlock has been doing the same thing:

This doesn't even touch on how video games themselves are used in the show (maybe a topic for another day?).  The point is that the visual language of games and computer systems in general is increasingly shaping the way we digest traditional media.  The nice thing is that it's often for the better.

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