Heads up gamemakers, Room 237 reveals the benefits of allowing others to reinterpret your work.

In his review of Sundance film Room 237, Slashfilm’s Germain Lussier details how the film serves as a retrospective on Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The film portrays several different readings of its source material which range from almost plausible to hysterically absurd. 

The way the alternative subtexts and the film’s process are described resonates with the kind of remake, mod, and (over) analysis communities that pop up on forums and within games themselves.

Whether or not Kubrick meant the film to do any of these things, there are definite arguments to be made. Art isn’t always up to the artist. A fan’s obsession can come into play too.

Kubrick’s film gets iterated in to metaphor and allusion but games are often fare more concrete in their iterations. Recently cloning in games and stealing others’ ideas, lifting mechanics or design has become a large concern for developers large and small. Iteration is strangely intrinsic to game design yet privileged. Who owns the idea is not for me to answer but the ability for someone else to make a different, stranger, irrational, maybe even better game, is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. Studios often devote years to protecting their fledgling IPs, growing them from rough beginnings into something respectable. Room 237 shows what happens when a classic is appropriated and turned completely on its head: it can be different and that can be wonderful.

– Adnan Agha

[via Slashfilm]