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Design Convergence and James Bond

Design Convergence occurs when you get multiple design disciplines interacting to create an immersion experience for customers. For most people, the best example of design convergence would be listening to music on their iPod, which you can also listen to on your computer, AppleTV, iPhone, iPod, and more. Design convergence is more than the eco-system. The entire experience becomes the product, which gets me to James Bond.

James Bond in Movies

James Bond FilmsIt is important to understand some of the James Bond film legacy to understand, where I am going with design convergence. I am a big James Bond film fan. Plus, this year marks his 50th year on the big screen!

Many of you are familiar with James Bond in films. He is a British super spy, working for MI-6. James Bond prefers his martinis shaken, not stirred. An inventor named “Q” provides him with an arsenal of spy gadgets. His boss named “M” provides James Bond with missions for his eyes only. In the movies, James Bond has been played by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.

Note: I am not counting a 1960’s parody, where David Niven, Woody Allen, and Peter Sellers also played James Bond.  I barely count, George Lazenby (who was the fashion inspiration for Austin Powers).

James Bond villains include Dr. Julius No (Dr. No), Sir Hugo Drax (Moonraker), Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger), Emilio Largo (Thunderball), Alec Trevelyan (Goldeneye), and more. The most prolific of the Bond villains on film is Ernst Blofeld, who appears in six of the Bond films (seven films if you include Never Say Never Again).

James Bond in Video Games

Sean ConneryMost of the James Bond video games fall into two basic categories: 1) first person shooter game, or 2) a game version of a James Bond movie. The first person shooter games include: James Bond 007 (1983), Agent Under Fire (2001), Nightfire (2002), Everything or Nothing (2004), and Rogue Agent (2005). Games based upon movies include Goldeneye (1997), Tommorrow Never Dies (1999), and The World Is Not Enough (200), which were all voiced by Pierce Brosnan.

In 2005, Sean Connery provided the voice of James Bond for From Russia With Love. Personally, I thought it was cool to see the original actor in this role.  Goldeneye Reloaded and Quantum Solace have been released recently and voiced by Daniel Craig.  I did not understand the reason for having Daniel Craig’s likeness and voice in Goldeneye Reloaded, when it was Pierce Brosnan’s movie.  But, I digress.

Newest James Bond Game Uses Design Convergence

To celebrate James Bond’s 50 year film history, Activision, the makers of the latest James Bond video called 007 Legends, are blending the different films into a flurry of missions for our favorite super spy. Mission 1 is Moonraker. Watch the short trailer below.

For the avid fan of the James Bond films, you get to see small details from the films that you might not notice. For example, you see the character likenesses of Drax (Michael Lonsdale) and Jaws (Richard Kiel). You see replicas of the space station, jump suits, and space shuttle. Specific scenes are given the gaming treatment, such as Jaws being shocked by an electrical cord, the launch of the secret space shuttle, and the gassing of scientists. You can catch a glimpse of some of Q’s gadgets, which include a phone camera and special gun.

When you look at the previous games, you see only a few original stories with the same kind of first person shooter style. These games basically look and feel the same. I think Activision did a some wonderful design convergence by using the rich film history to create a unique immersion experience.  Each film becomes a level with bosses.  Man, it just makes good sense.

The second mission was just announced: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. You can also watch the trailer below.

Design Convergence Provides Differentiation

For the Legends 007 video game, the immersion experience becomes the film legacy of the James Bond films. You get to relive the 50 year history of the films by going on the different missions. We see other products that do design convergence, such as the iPod and the entire Apple ecosystem.  We see Amazon doing the same kinds of things with their devices and online offering, too.

The gaming experience becomes an extension of the movies for me.  For my son, the gaming levels are entry points into the older James Bond movies.  With such a rich film history, you could get several different versions of these boss level/film version.  You could have these types of games in the future:

  • James Bond vs. Ernst Blofeld (who was in seven of the films)
  • James Bond vs. The Henchman (Oddjob, Jaws, Onnatop)
  • James Bond: Actor Editions — ex: Sean Connery films serve as boss levels for the Sean Connery Avatar
  • James Bond: Racing Editions with all the vehicles used in the various films (helicopter, sub, cars, planes, tanks)
  • James Bond;Gadget Editions with special appearances by “Q”
  • James Bond vs. SPECTRE (Dr. No, Ernst Blofeld, and so on make appearances)
The films become a backdrop for some interesting gaming mashups.  I really applaud Activision for taking a very cool approach with the latest James Bond video game. My son, Sean (yes, named after the first Bond actor), will be getting this game.
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