It's easy to talk about movies with your friends. Seems like we've all seen the same movies, more or less.
Things break down with novels. In my creative writing workshops and classes, overlap is marginal. You'll have one Salinger fan, one Cormac McCarthy fan, one Don DeLillo fan, one Jane Smiley fan, Stephen King, Erica Jong, and few of these people like each other's tastes, and yet somehow we're expected to be able to provide useful criticism of each other's work. You're supposed to analyze the piece on its own terms for what it is trying to be, but what you really get is blind men and elephant syndrome, where each one critiquing has their own idea of what fiction is supposed to be.
I suppose this is because it takes longer to read a novel than watch a movie; plus, there are more novels than movies.
There are more movies than videogames, but you still have the time problem. It takes much longer to play a videogame than to watch a movie.
Which leads to this kind of conversation at work all the time:
"This feature sucks."
"Really? It's a lot like a feature in Devil May Cry, God of War, Ninja Gaiden..."
"I haven't played those. I've played Onimusha, though."
"Er...I haven't played that one."
In fact, the only game that I can almost guarantee everyone's played is GTA - and we've usually played different GTA's.
So how do we find common ground? How do we avoid the blind men and the elephant problem; where we all think videogames are something different?