It’s been a pretty poor summer blockbuster season, even by usual standards, but Christopher Nolan’s superb Inception has more than made up for the turkeys. It’s a film with as much brain as brawn, and never loses sight of its emotional core, even as its plotting gets progressively more convoluted. It’s also a film that really deserves to be seen cold, and I was hugely disappointed to hear that a couple of people I know had had the film spoiled by an idiot on Facebook. Hopefully most of you will get to see it before some numpty decides to give away key plot points over the internet.
Weirdly, one of the first thoughts to enter my head as I exited the cinema was of videogames, and I asked myself why more game-makers aren’t exploring the kind of impossible worlds of Inception’s dreamscapes. We have a medium where the impossible can be made possible, yet so many game-makers are focused on making ever more realistic experiences. While I can understand the need for consistency in a game world, why do we focus on either the real or the abstract? Why not have a world which blends both? In Inception, there are a number of sequences which play around with gravity as the dream world is manipulated – why don’t we see more of this in games? We sometimes see abstract or fantastical worlds with realistic physics, but why not do the opposite? It’d be fascinating to see games exploring dreamlike worlds, and it’s a pity that it could take something like Inception to influence game-makers, to remind them of the power and the malleability of dreams.
If all that a generation of developers takes from Inception is that gravity-defying fight scenes and surrealism blended with realism are cool ideas, then I can happily live with that. They can worry about its subtlety and ambiguity at a later stage.