tv with hearts on screen

*Video games have changed the way we view, access, discuss and enjoy many other forms of entertainment. In some ways, they are even replacing them. Big Fish Games points out that for several years the video game industry has outpaced box office sales to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

As old forms of entertainment are overwhelmed by video games, the worlds of television and video games have begun to entwine in some fascinating ways. Here’s a look at some of the ways that television and video games are merging to create new and exciting forms of entertainment.

Blurring Lines

Actors doing voice overs for video games is nothing new, even actors as famous as Samuel L. Jackson have lent their voices to video games. According to Mental Floss, Samuel L. Jackson provided the voice of Officer Tenpenny in “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” and was voted by IGN to be one of the 100 best villains of all time.

However, the plots and scripts of many games are beginning to feel more like television shows, and in the case of the upcoming “Battlefield: Hardline” it’s hard to not notice how much it feels like a modern crime drama you get to interact with. “Battlefield: Hardline” features the voice acting of Nicholas Gonzales, who played Detective Morales in the “Sleepy Hollow” television show as well as the face and voice of actor Eugene Byrd, who played Jerome in several 2014 episodes of “True Blood.”

Spin-offs

There is a whole sub-genre of games being created today that are essentially continuations or expanded worlds for popular television series. Leading the pack with no competitors in sight is game developers Telltale Games, the video game development company behind the award-winning adventure game “The Walking Dead” as well as the recent “Game of Thrones” video game. Telltale specializes in building games that are focused on story and character, and often mirror the particular dramas experienced in the original material. For example, in “The Walking Dead” games characters must often make difficult decisions that can cost the lives of innocents, or choose between the lesser of two terrible evils. This mirrors much of the gray morality and harsh survivalism characters must experience in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” television show. This sort of cross-platform experience is just another way in which video games and television are merging into something new.

Combining Forces

Five years ago, Trion Worlds and the SyFy Network combined forces to develop the television series and video game both known as “Defiance.” Set on Earth in the year 2046 after a series of brutal alien attacks, “Defiance” follows the exploits of survivors as they fend for themselves in an apocalyptic world beset by aliens, mutants and robots. The game, available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, launched two weeks before the television show and features characters from the show’s cast as well as events that shape the world of the “Defiance” television show setting. Though the centers of action for the game and show take place across the country from one another, they both give fans of the “Defiance” universe a chance to explore more of their favorite setting. Despite how intertwined the two settings are, you don’t have to have played the game to enjoy the show or vice versa, though doing one before the other will certainly enhance your appreciation of the universe of “Defiance.”