I was recently watching a feature-length fanflick video inspired by the Legend of Zelda series. The production value was on par with some of the “dramatic reenactments” I’ve seen on the low-budget History Channel documentaries—good enough that you know what they’re trying to do, but not good enough tto sit in a theater and watch. For a fanflick, it wasn’t bad.

The comments for the movie were mixed, but many of them expressed that the idea of a film adaptation of a movie was doomed because the narrative of a game is too long and dense to be easily compacted into a two-hour film.

And then it occurred to me: Perhaps for the first time, we’re moving into narrative media that are not backwards-compatible. The written word can be spoken, the printed word written, movies can be translated to books, but games and hypertext narrative don’t go backwards.

Or perhaps we just haven’t figured it out yet.