I remember watching Violet Berlin when I was younger. I cannot for the life of me remember exactly which shows I watched, but I remember them being on, and I remember her talking about video games had me glued to the screen. I used to love watching her talk about video games, and I still wonder now; what happened to these TV shows? They suddenly disappeared, as though gamers suddenly weren’t important enough to have their own TV show anymore. The Gadget Show doesn’t count.
Gaming has never really been a mainstream medium though. Even now with massive series titles such as COD and MW, and the massive multiplayer potential they have offered us, a TV show about video games would still likely be kept on an obscure subscription only channel. What does that mean for gamers though? The news is full of previews and interviews about TV shows and the latest films, but games never get a look in. Game coverage is limited to specific industry websites, and while they’re all of an excellent industry standard, what about the real gamers?
Thank You For Playing, originally titled Project Possum, is a project that was launched on IndieGogo last summer by ex-employees of Inside Xbox. With a goal of $10,000, this was soon reached and then some, with final funds standing at $34,400. 520 people funded the project, including myself. I wear my Project Possum t-shirt with pride and have been looking forward to the day this would all come to fruition.
What’s different about Thank You For Playing though? Well, first of all it’s an interactive site. The only way I can think to compare it, is to the Gorillaz website. The days I spent wandering around Kong, and Plastic Beach, interacting with anything I could, watching videos and listening to music. TYFP has taken a similar idea and made it their own. The website opens with a series of worlds to unlock and explore. Only one world is available for ‘play’ at the moment, but others will be unlocked once interest levels have been indicated. Each world looks set to contain interactive locations, featuring a variety of themed videos. This first selection of videos featured discussion on escort missions, multiplayer games, as well as a comedic piece on how to fundraise your game project.
As a gamer, I am so happy that something like this has cropped up. I’ll be the first to admit that I read several well-known video game news sites daily, but I rarely watch the videos. I will only ever watch reviews. Why? I honestly don’t know. Maybe because I’m British and I can’t relate to the majority of gaming news sites out there as it is predominantly American. Nothing against the US of course, but it is very different. There is just something about TYFP that feels a bit more genuine, and a bit more ‘for the player’.
TYFP seems to feature alternative discussion, in a more casual scenario. Myself and my oldest gaming friend spend a lot of time talking about video games, and occasionally the current issues in video games, and a visit to the pub, or an evening in with a bottle or two is not uncommon when these discussions are occurring. One of my favourite things about this new site however, is that for every video you watch, you unlock related articles as well as podcasts, images and other, shorter videos. The site is a treasure trove of all things gaming, and looks like it features real gamers, real issues, and real discussions, and I for one am very excited to see what happens next.
I’m sure that the majority of the gaming community on Twitter is already doing so, and I can’t imagine that my blog will make much more of an impact, but if we want more of what the guys at Explosive Alan have created, then tweet this hashtag, and see the golden age of gaming come to life once again; #MoreTYFP. I urge you to give it a watch and tweet your support if you want something new and refreshing from video game media.