Full Motion Video, Interactive Movies, FMV Games. Terms that make most gamers shudder instantly. Why such harsh reaction? Most of them will probably say they were not real games, that they are not worth anyone’s time and that they didn’t bring anything to gaming. They will say FMV games were an embarrassing fad and we should forget them altogether.
I don’t agree with such view. I believe all games should be preserved, talked about, studied and treasured. Yes, even the bad ones! Gaming and software world is so obsessed with technology and push toward future that it often forgets its own legacy. Old movies and books are heavily studied and referenced, but in the gaming world, it looks like we are forgetting anything older than 5-10 years.
People might not realize that FMV games had a huge impact on storytelling and how game design is approached today, they paved the way to many professional CGI studios and helped Hollywood to embrace CGI. Each day when you watch your favorite TV series or movie you see work that started in FMV games. Work that started 20 years ago in the gaming industry, by people pioneering fields like motion capture or VR. Moreover, the gaming industry is tough, tough to the point of hostility. Imagine people that spent countless hours working on a game, sacrificing health, families and better-paid positions. A game they thought would bring entertainment to its users. And in the end, all they got was ridicule from the gamers who never even tried to create anything.
The goal of this website is not to ridicule these games or its creators. Even if their game wasn’t the best game in the world, their hard work and talent should be recognized. Over the course of last few months, I have catalogued over 600 games that used live action FMV. For various titles, I tried to approach developers and designers and was humbled by their response and stories. I would like to thank them all for what they did and for their willingness to share the history of full motion video.
I hope you will find content presented here as an interesting time capsule and learn something along the way. Oh, and I hope you will have fun too!