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Maybe The Gaming Industry Just Isn't Glamorous Enough

You can't go Hollywood if you don't have the Hollywood glitz and glamor.

What if the reason more gaming people (i.e., directors, producers, artists, etc.) aren't in the spotlight is simply due to materialism? What if it's simply due to the fact that we may not have the pretty people?

For the record, we've removed our article concerning voice actress Ali Hillis' Facebook comments concerning the Spike TV Video Game Awards. She contacted us and politely asked us to take it down; she provided an explanation as to why, and we understand it. She didn't want her words to be taken out of context but you know, it got me thinking (as these things usually do).

The VGAs will be loaded with personalities from TV, music, and movies. Sometimes, gamers wonder why we don't see more of our own stars and visionaries, and I'm afraid the answer is pure, simple, and mildly depressing- gaming doesn't have the glitz and glamor of the other entertainment industries. Thing is, those other industries require certain physical qualities (and if you say it doesn't matter for musicians, you're living on another planet), as the popular people tend to photograph well.

We have talented people, but they're not required to be in front of a camera for any reason. Even the actors aren't really part of it, although their likeness may be used (i.e., Uncharted, Heavy Rain, etc.). We've addressed the subject in the past; when we interviewed Ian Bogost, we spoke at length about why gaming isn't a bigger part of the mainstream culture; in other words, why we aren't seeing Cosmopolitan or Vanity Fair spreads for guys like David Jaffe or Hideo Kojima. Besides the stereotypes and stigmas still attached the industry, there might be another reason.

We have unbelievable talent. We don't have models. And in this culture, if you can't be in front of a camera, that poses a significant problem. Materialism may strike to the core and indeed, it might be one of the primary stumbling blocks for depressing as that sounds.

P.S. Hillis has offered to talk to us, so if we do an interview, we'll ask you to submit some questions.

Tags: video games, gaming, gaming culture

12/4/2011 10:38:52 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (20 posts)

Sunday, December 04, 2011 @ 11:16:13 PM

We have models!!!... They're just not real... :( lol

But it's kinda true 'cause we don't have a physical representation of our beloved hobby and the masses must have someone to idolate to(spelling?)... or gossip about, or hate upon... you know masses stuff. lol

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 9:17:23 AM

LOL you made me think about future possibilities: PEOPLE MAG: Nathan Drake cheats on his blondy and as a kid with Chloe!!! Whats more he has an illigitimate BLUE child!

Now add some conjugal violence between Batman and Catwoman and we got ourselves a real healthy industry right? XD Now it can be on par with Hollywood XD

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 12/5/2011 9:18:21 AM

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Sunday, December 04, 2011 @ 11:25:22 PM

Even though there's nowhere to click on it for you, it's still a great big "1 Thumbs up" for catching an Ali Hillis interview too.

Damn, I love this site!

Hell, I'd model for the the video games, but I don't think Spike want's to hear my Harley while it's roaring down their red-carpet runway.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/4/2011 11:30:08 PM

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Sunday, December 04, 2011 @ 11:40:26 PM

thats fu**ed up....

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/5/2011 12:22:48 AM

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 12:18:46 AM

People are shallow, and impressions do count (we've definitely had more pics of Lara Croft in mainstream media than we have had of any real gaming industry heavyweight!), and I fear you're on the money here Ben. Credit to ya for your dealings with Hillis.

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 12:21:30 AM

You know, this reminds of something. I was listening to the director's commentary on one of the Resident Evil movies. Director Pual WS Anderson talked about his experience when visiting Japan and Capcom. He mentioned that in Japan their culture tended to treat their favorite videogame designers like rock stars and he very much kept that in mind in his dealings with Capcom. That's a pretty astute observation on his part and one I would tend to agree with.

I guess we don't do that as much here in the west. I don't know what to make of that. On the one hand I would love to hear more from the people in the industry, but on the other hand I understand that might make for a dull show from a television producer's point of view. The VGA's can already be tough enough to watch for me becuase they feel so 360 centric. Another thing, it is almost painful to watch some random TV celebrity trying to pull off a joke about a game that I'm almost sure they have never touched in their lives. That kind of thing shows.

Please tell Ali I loved her as Lightning.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 12:46:41 AM

I daresay that you are correct with your assumptions there Ben. No-one remembers a less-than-stunning guy or girl for too long if there isn't something deeper and more personal. Being smart and funny just doesn't cut it.

At the same time... that's a load of tosh. I don't give a damn how pretty someone is if they're a talentless fop, or some kind of vain, selfish trash. Just because they skate by in their life on their looks and ability to please those of the opposite gender doesn't mean that they deserve to be fawned over. Honestly, I think that, in film, writers should get more credit than the actors because they are the ones that supply the roles. Sure, the actors are important, but how many of them could improvise to create a truly memorable character?

Same goes for gaming. Although the glitz is what draws a crowd, it shouldn't be what the industry focusses on. It should be about rewarding those that rightly deserve to be awarded. And that isn't some poncy, puffed-up popinjay who says they once held a controller. Sure they raise the profile, but it should promote the developers over these pretenders and bring to light the people that will entertain the next generation: Ueda, Kojima, Mikami, Cage, Chen, Itagaki, Levine, Asmussen, Blow, Notch, and the remainder of their ilk. Not only that, but seeing these people recognised for their achievements will attract more creative entities, who will see gaming as a legitimate way to get their names in the limelight, and as long as they build their reputations on being unique, rather than simply good, so much the better.


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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 2:02:16 AM

FWIW there are awards shows/ceremonies for game development that aren't as "Hollywood" as the Spike VGAs, but they are (for the very reason detailed in this article) less prominent.

The VGAs are like the MTV movie awards: candy-coated crap.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 12/5/2011 2:03:04 AM

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 2:53:26 AM

While your points are most certainly valid, Ben, I think you're forgetting about something more important: recognition. Outside of a handful of people (Kojima, Jaffe, Nolan North, etc.), I really don't know that many of the people who make the games I love. I, like most gamers I'd guess, identify much more with development studios than with the developers themselves. People around here, for example, get excited about the next game from Naughty Dog, or Bioware, or Level 5, not about any of the specific people whod be making the game.

And even if more people identified developers by name, theres still the matter of recognizing them at an event. The people here certainly seem more knowledgeable than most, but I'd doubt even they know what many developers look like. So, while video game people may not have movie star good looks, I think a bigger reason why we don't see then at the VGAs is because most of the audience wouldn't know who they'd be looking at if they did.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 9:54:41 AM

That's the problem. If they're not at events to recognize, how would we ever recognize them? ;)

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 7:21:32 AM

Did they even get into the industry in order to want to be recognised on a red carpet?

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 4:06:45 AM

Down to the fact that you dont have to be a stunner to make a game.

The real stars are the devs, not the actors being paid to do motion capture.

I'd much prefer to have some ugly programmers making games as opposed to stunning ones with a preference for hanging out in front of camera instead of a monitor.

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 8:46:17 AM

That's sort of the same story around the whole entertainment industry. I know some big Canadian artists have boycotted the Juno's due to the attention big -SELLING- artists have. Only the glitzy categories even get air time.

Some artists boycott the Grammy's and Oscars as well. In fact, some have even turned down nominations. So it's not fair to say it's just a gaming thing. It's like how you suggest, that it's just our entertainment industry as a whole.

It's not the way it should be, mind you... but it is the way it is.

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 8:55:06 AM

But do you think most designers and programmers want to live life in a media spotlight? I think stars of other types of entertainment need desperately to stay in the spotlight to stay relevant.

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 9:08:57 AM

It also occurs to me that, on-stage, the game developers can seem very nervous and unused to public scrutiny. It isn't enough just to look good, you have to be a personality as well. While Itagaki can pull this off, a lot of people who spend most of their days coding at computers might have some trouble in the limelight.

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 9:23:28 PM

Yes, they are not the glamorous type; and to be honest, they do not look glamorous. They are geeks for a reason... You need to be at the top of geekdom to make algorithms that pull off the visual tricks we see in Killzone 3, Uncharted 3, GoW 3 etc.

The glamour is in the result...

I don't think we need Hollywood plastic glitz to leak into gaming.



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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 9:24:18 AM

I never thought this to be a problem really. I don't think we should worry our little heads on whether or not were as popular as the movie or music industry, were better off the way we are now.

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 1:40:21 PM

We have Jo Garcia, amirite?

Game insiders would be cool, but the gamers themselves can be in the spotlight. Gaming doesn't need to be this Hollywood-esque type of thing. I love gaming for what it is, how it is! Anything else, and the industry may change with it.

Last edited by JLB1 on 12/5/2011 1:43:31 PM

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Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 1:40:51 PM

Booth Babes!

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 12:00:23 AM

i dont care what mainstream norm is for entertainment, designing a legendary game require tremendous effort, determination, artistic aspiration and persistent pursuit in perfection and excellence that only few films can even match up to.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 12/6/2011 12:00:59 AM

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