‘Cinematic’ is not a dirty word

Recently Rock Paper Shotgun published an article railing against ‘cinematic’ games. The sentiment will be familiar to anyone who’s spent time on any game site or comment thread. Games are games, why should games be like movies? Treating games like movies means long, non-linear cutscenes, and no-one likes those. The best course for games is to focus on interaction, and ignore films entirely. The argument is a compelling one, but I think it’s dead wrong, and stems from a basic misconception about what we mean when we say ‘cinematic’.