If James Cameron's upcoming 3-D movie is anything like the game that shares its name, it will be a blunt and unambiguous allegory for European imperialism – and a chore to sit through.
Set several years before the film, James Cameron's Avatar: The Game – the first console title designed for stereoscopic 3-D (more on that later) – begins with our character, Ryder, arriving on the lush jungle moon Pandora, which is populated by the Na'vi, a race of tall, blue-skinned humanoids. They were the moon's sole sentient inhabitants until Earthlings arrived, bringing bulldozers to harvest a rare superconductive compound called … unobtanium (yeesh).
Plenty of questions about this fantastical world are raised, but almost none are answered – at least not while playing. To learn anything about unobtanium, as well as the Na'vi's culture, the moon's floating mountains, and the titular avatar project – which involves growing soulless Na'vi that can be "driven" by a human consciousness – players need to scan everything they see. Then they visit the "Pandorapedia," which is filled with countless pages of regrettably dry, sometimes dauntingly scientific text.