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The fighting game genre has only grown more popular in recent years, mirroring the rise of the martial arts in other entertainment media. With the martial arts featured so prominently in movies like The Phantom Menace or The Matrix, games that allow players to become their favorite characters are more popular than ever. Ng states, "Playing a game with realistic moves is great fun because it's like controlling a fight scene in a Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, or Jet Li movie."
Fighting games, with the latest generation of hardware, are rapidly approaching movie-quality experiences. In a few months, we'll see the introduction of the new Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft's well-anticipated X-Box. Together with the Sega Dreamcast and Sony PlayStation2, these next generation machines will bring even more martial arts realism to the gaming scene.
Tekken character "Forest Law", a Bruce Lee-lookalike, looks on as gamers check out the new PS2.
What does this all mean for the martial arts? Perhaps we'll see games where you can actually use your punches and kicks against an on-screen opponent--much as the wildly popular dancing games have you dance on an electronic mat to play the game. Or new joysticks and controllers will give your punching and blocking arms a real workout--rather than just your thumbs. Regardless of what happens, martial arts are here to stay in video games, and they're just getting better and better.
For more information on martial arts in video games, consult the following links:
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