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Joss Whedon Fans React To Dollhouse Game Idea


Back in May I outlined some ideas for a potential video game based on Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, and it wasn't long until fans of Dollhouse and Whedon's general work found the article and reacted to it, offering mixed opinions spanning a wide range of thoughts.  Some were intrigued by the idea of a game based on protagonist Echo's adventures, others were horrified about turning human trafficking into a game, and a few didn't see the potential appeal at all.  Here are a few of my favorite comments from the discussion at Whedonesque.

Asking the player to make hard, questionable, and/or weird choices is nothing new in gaming. Where it might make some people uncomfortable (and where Joss may not be all that cool with it) is in how players could influence the course of the Dollhouse characters and story to the point where it undermines what the show is trying to say. In which case, I guess you could just ignore the game if it bothers you in that respect. But as a gamer, I've often explored all the possibilities/paths just to see what would happen. And in gaming, sometimes it's fun to be evil. It's not real, you're just trying on a role, same as actors playing villains. — Kris

However, I think it's too soon for the game. I think they should get started on it right now, because I want the game to start HERE. But as they're working on this, the game changes in Season 2... so I want one whole big game called DOLLHOUSE (not Dollhouse Game Season 1 & Dollhouse Game Season 2). Harry Potter movies can attest to the "we should wait and see how it ends before we *mess* up potential story-lines" (they fixed it of course, but if they were patient, they wouldn't have needed to fix it to begin with). — korkster

Being able to switch between different characters leave the possibilities in the game wide open. Imagine a level where you have to steal a diamond from a vault and you choose which persona you're going to take on. You could be a ninja and butt-kick your way to the vault, you could be a thief and sneak and lock-pick your way to the vault, you could be an explosives expert and blow your way to the vault, etc. Or perhaps they could make it that you can change your imprint while on the run (a la "three flowers in a vase") and use a combination of all of them. — blueymcphluey

Dollhouse has the potential to be a great video game - create your own character, upload skills, do missions, learn more about your background and the Dollhouse and end up trying to escape. I wouldn't have Echo as the main character - the game should be a new experience, not just a rehash of the show. I think I agree that it's a better premise for a game than a TV show.  However, it would be difficult for a developer to get right. The tone is pretty tricky, but the gameplay would probably be the main problem. I'd reckon you'd need a wide range of mission types to fit the idea of the show and to just give variety and a decent length to the game. That means doing adventure, shooting, driving, stealth, etc. Trying to do lots of different game types in one game tends to work out badly. But even as not the greatest fan of the show, I'd still love to play a game of it. — NotaViking

Following the events of Dollhouse's first season finale (not to mention the events from the unaired "Epitaph One" episode), my original hopes for a Dollhouse game are a bit stale now, as the show is moving past its initial premise and starting to dig into deeper issues.  I'm still interested in seeing a Dollhouse video game happen if it can be done properly.  Until that happens, at least we still have the television show to enjoy.  Season 2 begins in North America tonight on FOX.