Norwegian Slow Video Games

I met with my Film Experience professor today during Office Hours to discuss Norwegian Slow TV. Ended up discussing Twitch streaming, the NFL, e-sports and really long documentaries. Got some interesting takeaways:

  • Norwegian Slow TV and Twitch streaming have a lot of similarity in that you just literally put a camera in front of something (fireplace, train, screen of a speedrunner) and you just let it go. Possibly explains why Clam kinda got into it.
  • If you really want to stretch it, you could say that this idea of drifting in and out has roots back to the early early days of cinema, where you have film being shown as this weird attraction at a country fairground and a barker has to call your attention to check out how cool moving pictures are over the freakshow act next door. In that case, what is the barker for slow TV or streaming? What maintains your attention? Does it even need one?
  • This idea of slow TV / cinema has some roots back with Andy Warhol, where he made avant-garde films that would just act as a “moving background” in the middle of his parties in a factory (ex. 8 hour footage of man sleeping, etc.)
  • It’s interesting that duration really depends on the medium. 10 hour cut scenes for Metal Gear Solid feel different than a 10 hour movie as does watching 10 hours of TV straight. Also really fascinating if you consider the length of play time of most JRPGs are 50+ hours. In that case, is Norwegian Slow TV really that weird, to watch 40 hours of train?
  • Most sportsball footage is actually not live – it’s mostly instant replays and slow-motion. This is pretty antithetical to the idea of live sports – that you’re going to be watching the game “live” as it unfolds, when actually you’re just watching highly manipulated past footage. This is also pretty different from what I’ve done when I filmed sportsball where we obviously don’t have the equipment to do instant replays and then it’s just this direct cinema – “Here’s whatever is in front of the camera at the time”
  • I tried to explain the idea of e-sports to her and it was really interesting as she tried to figure out what the spectacle aspect of it was (how we got into discussion of sportsball).
  • TV is interesting because it also has this sense of 24 hour flow. Perhaps TV is not defined by each individual programs, but rather the constant stream of information that hearkens back from way farther than the 24 hour news cycle. The paper that I forwarded a couple of weeks ago goes into more detail
  • Digression into soap operas, where you literally have a backstory going back 20+ years and that an oral tradition is created between mother and daughter as they grow up together, watching the same soap opera and the mother will fill in details from the past that her daughter would not have known.

Unfortunately, she’s not a video game person, but hearing her ideas about film and then applying it to the realm of video games was really really fascinating, especially because she was approaching things from a different perspective since she’s a film person.

-Lilly

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