Clicking in high society

Lincoln Center going to the games

For years, vidgame companies have been working themselves into hip film fests like Sundance with Playstation Lounges and Xbox Lodges, piggybacking on the youth-skewing, star-studded events as places to hawk their Tony Hawk games.

Now, even the staid Film Society of Lincoln Center is embracing the twitch-and-click set.

The Center’s Nov. 3 program, called “Semper Ubi: Ubisoft and the Art of Games,” promises a “full day of kick-ass multimedia programming” and a “screening” of scenes from Ubi’s upcoming vidgame for Universal’s “King Kong,” as well as a deejay and other frills.

That’s a bit of a left turn from such highbrow Societal highlights as the upcoming “Evening With Woody Allen” and “A Luminous Century: Celebrating Norwegian Cinema.”

But Lincoln Center’s director of communications, Graham Leggat — who calls the Ubi evening “his baby” — says the gaming world isn’t just about testy teens tucked in basements.

“There is a convergence of these (film and gaming) worlds within a digital space,” he says. “The former stereotype of (gamers) has been exploded, and this is a chance to catch a game-making auteur. There’s more artistry than you might think.”

That must be music to gamemakers’ ears as their industry is aiming to close in even further on the demos that choose film and TV as dominant entertainment choices.

“Is it so surprising now that videogames are outpacing movies in terms of sales (that people are taking vidgames more seriously)?” says Sandy Hunter, senior programmer of Resfest, which already includes live-action, animation and “CG and hybrid forays” in its programming.

“People spend 50 to 60 hours watching a videogame, as opposed to two watching a movie,” says Hunter. “The art has to stand up. And more-and-more animation guys are crossing over.”

What’s next, a Cannes tribute to “Grand Theft Auto?”

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