The very, very large black bars of The Evil Within

Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek writes a fascinating post on the intersection between gaming and film with regard to a game’s aspect ratio:

For the sake of argument, let’s say that’s not true, and Mikami chose 2.35:1 because it’s part of his vision. Given he’s deployed similar aesthetic choices in the past, it’s not unreasonable. The man enjoys blending Hollywood and games. If Mikami wants The Evil Within to be played with this aspect ratio, which frames the game through a particular lens, perhaps players should show that decision respect, despite other options.

Or maybe not! By being interactive, perhaps games invite players to subvert the designer’s will and aspect ratios are merely an act of interpretation. World builders can set up an experience a certain way, but the free will of a player means the creator gives up the right to be upset over what they do with the game, even when it comes to tinkering with technical specifications.

The truth, of course, is probably somewhere in-between.