When it comes to the cinema, Europeans do it better. Just look at any Hollywood remake of a European film if you don't believe me. Look how many directors made bad movies in Hollywood but made great films in Europe. Look how many of Hollywood's great films were made by Europeans. I don't mean to be so unpatriotic, but America is constantly getting it wrong at the movies. The latest case in point is National Amusements' new gaming service at their Showcase Cinemas in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It isn't exactly film-related, but a major fault with the movie industry in the States is with the theater chains, and one of the problems with this new service is that National Amusements isn't relating video games to cinema as much as they should be.

Earlier this month I reported that a multiplex in Belgium (it's in Europe) was launching a new gaming service, and I expressed my hopes that American theaters would follow suit. Unfortunately, the cinema in Ann Arbor is not offering a similar big-screen alternative for gamers. Their service, called CyGamZ, uses flat screen TVs. How this is different from the usual multiplex arcade games is that CyGamZ allows for multiple players and a high-speed internet connection. How this is different from your gaming at home is that it is more social. How this has anything to do with the movie theater experience is questionable.

I understand that theaters are in financial worry -- of course, I blame the studios -- and they need to find new ways of attracting customers, whether to the movies or to some other moneymaking idea, but setting aside a division of the floor to Xbox and Playstation gaming is not the answer. Other alternative plans, such as live concerts and sporting events, have made sense because they still utilize the auditorium and the big screen. Is National Amusements afraid to gamble on renting out an auditorium for gaming? Or are they unable to even think of such an idea because of studio influence on screen use? Whatever the reason, American theater chains need to figure something else out, because while Belgium's XL Gaming is innovative and smart, CyGamZ is desperate and stupid.
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical