Back in the 161MC weekly tasks assignment, I used an online video editing program called ‘Mozilla Popcorn Maker,’ and if you read my previous post, it was Barely Useful. So, now we get to do anything on a Friday, much like Google Fridays and Apple’s Blue-Sky something.
So, as I rather enjoyed the concept of doing a short documentary on video games, I decided to take this ‘free time’ opportunity to re-create my documentary Are They? But this time, I’m going to make it better, how I want to make it, and use a program that actually has an ‘undo’ function.
In case you’re a little lost, Are They? is a documentary on the concept of video games and current gaming culture being to blame for the changing behaviour in children, teenagers, and young adults. Okay, there are times when video games are to blame, such as when an Asian couple had a child, found an online game to care for a digital child, and got so immersed in it, their real child starved to death, but in today’s world, as soon as something that stirs up the norm in terms of game ratings, and what is seen as socially acceptable, video games suddenly get a bollocking from news teams and mothers from around the globe. I pretty much question that, and throw in other tangents too, such as kids now just being genuinely stupid. Any creation has inspiration, and usually they’re incorporated into the final piece. There are a handful of relevant things going into Are They, so let’s have a gander.
First, Zero Punctuation. An online video game review series, written and hosted by fellow trilby-wearing Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw. This hugely-popular and successful web series reviews video games both extremely critically and satirically. Yahtzee’s metaphors and hilarious insults towards both the producer and consumer make this weekly series an extremely memorable five minutes of my miserable life. As much as he basically slates the thing from top to bottom, he does give out some praise for titles such as Portal, which he bloody well should as it is an amazing game, and he does appreciate some of the more in-depth aspects such as a game being self-aware, and understands cultural and moral references, as well as appreciating good storytelling and character. Any triple-A games (such as modern shoot-em-ups such as Call of Duty and Battlefield) he refers to as ‘spunkgargleweewee,’ a phrase I should use more. According to Urban Dictionary,
A term used to describe bland clones and unimaginative works in media.
Now if you know me well enough, I point out these things a lot, and now I’ve finally realised, there’s been a word for it all along. Enough writing about what it’s like. Enjoy a spunkgargleweewee episode for yourself!
Secondly, Escape From Mount Stupid. A short documentary-esque series hosted by Gamespot, and literally hosted by Danny O’Dwyer. It looks at the run down of video games in general, but also more social and cultural aspects. More so than Zero Punctuation, but less, but still nevertheless funny. The ten minute-or-so documentaries do occasionally go off on a tangent to talk about particular games relevant to the main topic, and who doesn’t? Not me. There will be game related tangents too, then I’ll make my way back to the proper point of the film. Take a look at an episode of EFMS, there’s been no recent episodes, which is a shame, but either way, it’s very good.
Finally, in terms of the writing style, it’s going to be a cross between any Charlie Brooker documentary such as Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, or his annual Yearly Wipe, or 2013 Wipe as his most recent one has been aptly titled. In these, he takes a satiristic standpoint on near enough everything, and anything genuinely good, he doesn’t mention at all. Brooker even did a 2013 documentary titled How Videogames Changed The World, which outlines how- well I guess you can guess that. Take a look at what Minecraft did.
So, this is what I’m setting out to do. But how? Why not take the concept of Remix videos, using Web 2.0 to re-tell a story, and making something out of nothing. Take all of those, add in a sprinkle of video games, a dash of humour, and a bucket of cynical bollocks. Then, serve it all on a plate made of pure, stonebaked Garry’s Mod.
Garry’s Mod is known as a ‘sandbox’ game, in which you can do whatever you like. Literally. You can spawn in models, NPCs (non-player characters), props, weapons etc, and weld them together, add wheels or rockets, and piss around for hours on end. I know I have. There is my copy of Gmod on Steam (Valve’s PC/Mac/Linux video game service), and with 120 hours of my life
wasted used appropriately, I know my way round it quite well. Why does this fit in to my upcoming documentary Are They? I’m glad you obviously didn’t ask. It is the documentary. Other than the Remix segments (probably consisting of mainly gameplay aspects), and some live action at maybe the beginning and the end, the documentary will consist of 85% Gmod with yours truly doing a voice over. Garry’s Mod has been used in visual storytelling for a while now, and it’s usually if not always used for idiotic purposes. Hugely successful YouTube series such as The Idiots of Garry’s Mod and The Gmod Idiot Box (similar titles, similar structure, different creators), were pioneers of the still strong-going, but not as popular Gmod comedy series. I’m going to take the more serious route in the use of it, but still have occasional silly visual aspects alongside the occasional silly verbal aspects in the documentary. Using a video game to taunt the media and the current population of planet earth is like shooting some bloke with his own gun. Fancy twenty minutes of pure idiocy to please your inner twelve year old? It’s pretty much the most marmite-y, marmite thing ever. You’re either going to love it so much you’ll need to change your trousers afterward, or you’re going to see gamers in a different, more immature light forever. Actually, that second one still applies to people who agree with the first bit more.
I’m going to prove to people that video games don’t turn kids into mindless violent delinquents, by using mindless violence. That’s one way to do it.
Oh, and typically, I’ve already re-made the poster, using my Samsung NX300, and my GameBoy Colour.