Remediation and Fan Films

I’m increasingly interested in the crossover between film, video games, and other media. Of course, this has been happening for some time (Star Wars radio dramas anyone?), but there seems to be an acceleration of this type of crossover. For example, consider Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: a film that looks like a video game, based on a comic book which drew its narrative structure from a video game. Media theorists Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin coined the term “remediation” to describe this phenomenon, which they describe as “the formal logic by which new media refashion prior media forms.”

I teach this concept in my Literature in a Wired World classes, so I’m always looking for good examples of remediation to show my students. Well, I have a new favorite example. The video below is a fan film based on the popular games Portal and Portal 2. What’s really great about this example is that typically we see the remediation of an older media form (film) into a newer media form (video games). In this case we have the opposite, which shows the feedback loop-like relationship between old and “new” media.

A video of Portal gameplay as a point of reference for those who haven’t played the game.

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