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Avatar: Why does this movie look so familiar?

Rubi Bayer, @@rubi_

If you're one of the few people who has not heard the buzz about Avatar yet, we'll catch you up by saying that the film's beauty is all anyone can talk about. MMO players discussing the movie will follow that observation up almost immediately with "...and did you notice how much it looks like [insert game of choice here]?"

Quite a few comparisons have been drawn, with World of Warcraft and Guild Wars being the two most frequently mentioned. Film and music review site In Review Online was quick to point out that James Cameron is a big fan of WoW, and Guild Wars fans noticed the similarities as soon as trailers showed up way back in August.

So James Cameron is stealing all of his ideas from MMOs, right? Of course not. Magically floating rocks, mountains in the distance, and lush, green landscaping have been a part of the fantasy genre for some time now, and anyone involved in a creative process is bound to be influenced by the things encountered in daily life.

While (we hope) nobody seriously thinks that Cameron looked at a game load screen and said "Yeah, I'll use that," there is certainly a strong influence there. Whether he was influenced by games or everyone has the same general underlying theme of a fantasy world is anyone's guess. In the end, we'll just enjoy the movie and its strange sense of familiarity.

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