Monday, March 29

Red Tape

Forgot to eat yesterday. Huh.

I've been giving some thought to the legal aspects of my documentary. Anne has offered me some advice on writing up contracts for the people I'll be filming and I'm getting a fairly good idea of the precautions I'll have to take when filming in public areas. I also need to contact the Comic Con and PAX organizers about filming at their events as i definitely want to include at least PAX in the series. It's very difficult filming in another country because it's not easy for me to get information of their legal system regarding Documentaries and filming. At least I'm not planning to record anything dangerous or morally dubious. Featuring games and trademarked logos will also (hopefully) be part of the documentary so that also requires permission from companies. Particularly without a budget to placate egos. However this documentary will be a celebration of gaming, so why wouldn't they let their games be a part of that? Yes, I realize the naivety of that sentence.

On a lighter not my weekend was wholly productive, split between gaming (and meeting people for the Doco), planning the trip (flight's booked) and working on my folio for Comic Con. It's a good feeling having a goal to drive towards.

I was at the mall briefly on Saturday and ducked into a newsagents. I never buy anything save for the elusive Imagine FX magazine but I have a little ritual, not unlike at EB Games which I also never buy from (unless they have an exclusive special edition I want damn you!), where I pick up ever gaming magazine and quickly flip through it. I don't really focus on any particular page or article, I never read anything beyond a list of games on the horizon, I just sort of get a feel for the contents and then drop it back on the shelf wondering why it even exists. Games stores are much the same, I pick up a game that looks appealing to me (I've written an essay on what appeals to me in a game case if anyone is interested/bored/works in marketing) flip it over to appraise the back and then stick it back on the shelf. I suppose what I'm really doing is shopping for information; when I do buy something my aim is to get in and out in eighteen seconds ([1f01] Rosebud).

I'd like to interview someone like Chris Roper who was Executive Editor of IGN PlayStation until two weeks ago. I am very critical of game reviews and advertising these days. Before the Internet became an institution those magazines were our lifeline to games news. Now we can amass so much information I don't need to read a single review to know what a game has to offer me and if I will like it. Even if I did, reviews these days really stick in my throat. Rarely do they reflect the reaction of the gaming community and on occasion are written by people who sound like they have no interest or knowledge of the game or the culture around it. Then again in an age where 'casual gamers' (this is a dirty slur) are prevalent perhaps it's appropriate to have Final Fantasy XIII reviewed by, say, my mom. Don't get me started about scores out of 10 (particularly when it's more like out of 7-10) and having Gameplay as a sub category alongside Graphics, Sound and Story. Is it not a game? I thought that was the point.

As a kid I used to cut articles out of Hyper and Nintendo Power magazine and stick them to the walls above my bed (the way slightly older, less nerdy kids stuck Pamela Anderson, Claudia Schiffer or Elle MacPherson clippings to their pillows). My family didn't have a lot of money and even if they had, video games were a twice a year event (Birthdays and Christmas) so instead I would read the articles over and over again and stare intently at the pixelated screen shots imagining that I was actually playing those games (the way slightly older, less nerdy... you see where I'm going with this). So adorable and geeky is this image, I wish I had a photo to share! The point is, though my mom made me take them down, it was a clear indication that games journalism was something I might have been interested in pursuing.

I used to draw Sonic killing Mario with magic markers and send in my pictures. Remember that? It was truly a different time, when kids could be kids and parents weren't paying attention to video games or trying so hard to turn their kids into wusses. Ironically I did a quick google image search for 'Mario killing Sonic' in the hopes of some nostalgia but all I got was furry porn.

The image of Bizarro Phoenix is by Space Coyote who has some funny/cool pop culture art. I love developing original concepts but just as much paying tribute to those things in life which we admire. More on this tomorrow.

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