Video gaming is one of America’s favorite pastimes. There are more video game stores in New York City than there are books stores. And there are enough games out there to satisfy the taste of any gamer alive. Why do people of all ages find themselves so fascinated with the games?

Video gaming has come a long way since Mario Brothers. Games of all genres and types are available for any age group. There is interactive, fun to play and informative games available for the youngest audiences, designed to be both educational and fun. Favorite cartoon characters, such as Nemo, Chicken Little, Sponge Bob and Mickey Mouse, come alive in the video games to keep children company. Action heroes like Superman and Spiderman make appearances again with new missions to accomplish and more tricks up their sleeves. Racing games, action games, shooter games and arcade games keep coming out for audiences to enjoy.

The reason for this fascination is simple. Everyone wants to be part of the story, or do something that they would not ordinarily be able to do. Not many people can make it in a car racing world and even less can afford to try. But it takes a game console, a TV and a racing game to feel like you are sitting behind the wheel of a gadget packed racing car. There are no limits to what you can do behind that wheel; there are no real bills to pay and no injuries that can maim you. All there is is the excitement of the race, the rush of victory and loads of fun.

Many men, no age limits, get fascinated with the first person shooters because it makes them feel all powerful and able to do anything. Hardly anyone will want to run around with a real gun, hunting for enemies and risking to be shot from the back. But games like Halo provide a safe way to explore your talents as a soldier and give a new insight on the art of warfare.

How many of us would not like to be the hero and save the world? RPG’s provide just the opportunity. Turn the Playstation on and put in the disk and you will be carried off into a distant land where humankind’s last hope for survival rests with you.

Life can be ordinary and not very interesting and can lack the excitement that will make your heart race. Daily tasks are dull and the roles all of us act out at work and at home do not allow us to get out of the boundaries of every day routine. Problems can overwhelm and get the best of anyone. Sometimes the need to dive into a world where every day problems do not exist is alluring and exciting. The ability to become someone else, someone you will never be, to live out a life full of danger and mystery, is offered by video games to all people. But even if it’s just for one hour or a few minutes it makes feel alive and able to do absolutely anything.

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The movie industry is abuzz with comic books being adapted to the full screen. Not only is it profitable for Hollywood to produce comic book characters, but for the comic book industry too. There have been low budget movies and television series based on the more popular comic books. Usually the low budget movies do not fare well.

The blockbuster comic book movies usually use well-known actors and the difference between the low budget movies and the high-end movies are palpable.

The television industry has had a love affair with comic book heroes for generations. The old serial shorts showed a popular comic book hero. The special affects were limited with the era but it introduced the character into the mainstream.
The advent of radio-helped pave the way for the comic books to hit the ordinary folk that would never had the exposure to them.

As time advanced so did the technology and the special effects. Certain comic book super heroes needed to employ certain feats to appear to fly and see through walls. Wires were strung on the costumes, and hoisted in the air to appear to defy gravity. Boulders that were huge in size were actually made of paper. All kinds of primitive devices were used to entertain us. And entertain they did. The advances in the special effects department gave Hollywood its first glimpse into a lucrative enterprise. In 1978 the first big blockbuster came onto the scene and the movie industry was taken aback at the amount of money that was made. The comic book industry took notice to and continued with three more sequels that never matched the first one. In 1989 Batman came out and it was an instant success. Jack Nicholson portyrayed the Joker with fervent appeal and was the only actor, at the time, to receive a share of the profits.

There have been a few Batman movies and each successive one had better special effects. The comic books had finally come into majority of the households. The Hulk, the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer, Spiderman, The Punisher, and soon to be released Iron Man.

With so man famous comic books hitting the big screen, the relationship between the movie industry and the comic book business have cemented. Obviously, it benefits both parties. The movie empire can be assured on profits, especially if word of mouth is positive. Nothing can sink a movies fortune than a negative response from people. I am not referring to the critics. Ordinary people who spend their hard earned money are more influential than the critics. It helps the comic book domain by getting more and more people exposed to their comic book heroes and villains. Thus, people who normally would not read comic books could be persuaded to buy some.

Comic books and the movies enjoy a relationship that has endured for a long time. Each successive generation will be able to watch new movies with different comic book characters. And each one will bring about changes in how the movies are made and the special effects they use.

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    June 2012