You may recall some earlier posts where I whined about how video editing software is either bare-bones useless, or more expensive than having platinum dental work done on a cloned T-Rex. There doesn’t seem to be any real mid-range software available for people who just want to dabble. I’ve had a video project that I’ve been tinkering with for some time now, and I’ve been trying to line up the tools and assets to make it work. When The Escapist film festival came along, it seemed like a good time to buckle down and make it happen.
Between the day job, this site, and Stolen Pixels, (and the videogames required to supply the latter two) I just couldn’t come up with something in time for the film festival. But even after the deadline for the film festival ran out, I didn’t want to give up on the idea. I was still holding out hope that I could scrape together some time and finish it, even if all I did was put the thing up on YouTube.
This last Friday I got some news from my employer: We’re beginning a large project right now, and it’s going to run well into the new year. It’s also going to require a lot of overtime. Now, I have a policy of not complaining about my employer or my job in public, but this is the third year in a row I’ve had a stretch of overtime that ran from Thanksgiving to New Year, and the only nice thing I can say about it is that it’s a good alternative to unemployment.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen around here. I might be posting less often. Or never. Or just rick-rolling everyone once a week. We’ll see. You can pretty much duplicate the functionality of this site by making an RSS feed that randomly links to newly released games along with some text that says, “DRM sucks and I hate it! BLARG!” So maybe somebody can make one of those in PHP or something.
But more to the point, the video series is shelved for sure. So, I want to write about it here as a way of getting it out of my system so I can stop thinking about it. I realize this is sort of a jerk move on my part: Here is something I was going to do and now I’m not. Now you know what you’ll be missing. Hope you don’t like the idea too much, ha ha!
My vision was for a series that would distill complex issues (technical or otherwise) into easily digestible videos salted with a little humor. Unlike my writing here, they would be less op-ed and more informational. Videogames arguably turned fifty this year. Their history goes all the way back to 1958. (And perhaps even further, if you want to expand the definition of “videogame” to include any kind of game mediated entirely by a machine.) There is a lot of history there. and most of it is too far away to be easily remembered yet too close to be a part of history class for most of us. These popcorn documentaries would run about ten minutes apiece and would cover some of my usual topics:
- Escalating development costs. (Why they’re going up, and what that means to videogames.)
- The rise of indie developers.
- The consolidation of development houses into sharecroppers for monolithic publishers. (Heh. Maybe a little op-ed would sneak into that one. *cough cough*)
- The demagoguery of videogames in the media, juxtaposed with Rock N’ Roll, Movies, and novels.
- Evolution of graphics technology, from 1958 to present.
Looking back, I don’t know if this would have fit in a The Escapist film festival (which seem focused on just humor) but I still like the idea and I’d still like to give it a go at some point. Maybe I’ll try again in January.
EDIT: Sorry for the melodrama. I’m just blowing off a little steam in frustration. It’s not the end of the world. I’ll probably just be posting less. We’ll see how much in the coming weeks.
Joker's Last Laugh
Did you anticipate the big plot twist of Batman: Arkham City? Here's all the ways the game hid that secret from you while also rubbing your nose in it.
Push the Button!
Scenes from Half-Life 2:Episode 2, showing Gordon Freeman being a jerk.
Top 64 Videogames
Lists of 'best games ever' are dumb and annoying. But like a self-loathing hipster I made one anyway.
Games and the Fear of Death
Why killing you might be the least scary thing a game can do.
Two minutes of fun at the expense of a badly-run theme park.