Perhaps buoyed by the success of Indie Game: The Movie, Jeremy Snead and his team over at Mediajuice Studios have spent the last couple of years staking out conventions and traveling to major development houses to get footage for their wide-ranging, comprehensive documentary entitled Video Games: The Movie, touching on everything from the inception of the medium to contemporary gamer culture along the way.
Snead and co. have tracked down a veritable who’s who of video gaming past, present, and future for insight—including Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari), Wil Wheaton, Chris Hardwick, Sean Astin, Clare Grant, Ernest Cline (author of Ready Player One), Palmer Luckey (creator of the Oculus Rift, a device leading games closer to virtual reality) Cliff Bleszinski (former design director for Epic and founder of the Gears of War series), and more. The film is structured into four parts—the history, the culture, the creation, and the future of video games—and intends to examine “what it means to be a gamer, a game maker, and where ‘video games’ will be in 10, 20, even 100 years from now.”
One of the obvious questions the film has the opportunity to address with developers and gamers is the frequent debate about violence in video games. Snead poses this question directly to a number of industry leaders, and the response below (or at least part of the response in the film) is pretty much what you’d expect.
Snead and his studio have funded the production and filming of Video Games: The Movie out-of-pocket from day 1, but created a Kickstarter a little while ago to help crowdsource post-production costs. If you’re interested, you can check out their Kickstarter here.
In other gaming news this week, Anita Sarkeesian releases the latest video in her Damsel in Distress series, Zynga cleans house, a new Deus Ex emerges, and we get our first look at multiplayer in The Last of Us. Read on!
- After a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, Part 2 of video game critic Anita Sarkeesian’s Damsel in Distress: Tropes vs Women in Video Games series was posted last week, and is up and running after being briefly pulled off YouTube due to deliberately inaccurate flagging by Angry Male Gamers. Her latest video examines, among other things, the fridging of female characters and the prominence of depicted in-game violence against women. If you’d like to see more, you can find Part 1 here.
- The bleeding continues for social gaming giant Zynga, as the company laid off over 500 employees and shut down offices in 3 major cities (Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas) this week. Apparently this move was made to focus on a commitment to mobile game development. Yes, mobile game development. Not to save $70-80 million for a company currently trading at 1/5th of it’s all-time high stock price. Not at all.
- Gamers got their first look at the multiplayer side of The Last of Us this week, and the trailer did not disappoint. Choose your clan, craft your weapon, and survive.
- Watch Dogs, a spiritual successor to Deus Ex, won’t just focus on hacking, as we’ve seen so far in earlier trailers. Apparently, protagonist Aiden Pierce will be able to get down ’n dirty with fast, brutal hand-to-hand combat techniques.
- Meanwhile, on Twitter, Eidos Montreal seems to be teasing the announcement of a new Deus Ex game. Possibly. Purportedly. Unofficially.
- Joystiq took a hands-on look at the South Park RPG, and was pretty entertained.
- Finally, check out the trailer for Rain, a beautiful and enchanting PSN exclusive.