Reviewing video games with written reviews is the usual way to go about things. Not so for the videogame review community I’ve been a part of for the last five years. Over the years we’ve used haikus, origami, songs, comedy and radio-plays to communicate what we love or hate about a videogame.
We’ve had all sorts of responses to these reviews ranging from the most common “That’s not a review” to “Wow, how did you dream that up?” to “This is nuts, good nuts, but still nuts.” The biggest barrier to taking the road less traveled with a game review is explaining what the heck you are trying to do.
We’ve had the most success with meeting people at games events in person and introducing them to the site. If we could only have that conversation with everyone on the planet, Game People traffic would be through the roof.
Our solution to this conundrum is to put on a series of live performances of our reviews in theaters up and down the UK. Our first one is on Wednesday, April 11, and is in Exeter’s BikeShed theater. While we can’t quite fit everyone on the planet into the 57 seats available, we are hoping to at least spark a few interesting conversations about gaming. Tickets are available from the BikeShed Theater website.
Fin Irwin, Co-director of Bike Shed Theater, was keen to help Game People put on the first-of-its-kind event. “BikeShed Theater regularly supports innovative performances and was happy to support Game People’s unusual approach to reviewing video games with theater, comedy and music.”
The provisional program of games we will be covering is as follows:
- Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Standards: About to set out on her latest adventure, Lara is joined by an unexpected companion.
- Epic Mickey: Dead Meg Beg No Scraps: Mickey lives in a high apartment building alone with his memories of being a star until an old flame walks back into his life and offers him a second shot at stardom. But, does it come at a price Mickey is not prepared to pay?
- Portal 2: Fred and Bob discuss Portal 2. Or as they like to call it: Now you see me, now you don’t.
- Limbo: Fred talks Bob down from a fear of spiders in XBLA’s Limbo.
- Uncharted 3: Bob persuades Fred into musical form for a sung review of Uncharted 3. Dum, de de dum.
- Ratchet and Clank All 4 One: Bob and Fred dig into some multi-player Ratchet and Clank and find things are not what they are supposed to be.
- Mass Effect: The Mirror: Mass Effect offers a homogenized humanity that I didn’t really get along with. I wanted to sing a song that celebrated people’s bodies for the unique individuals that they are. It will be interesting to see how Mass Effect 3 deals with all this..
- Velvet Assassin: Shadows: Rebecca Mayes sings a videogame review response.
Now, this is in the UK but don’t fret as we will be videoing the show to broadcast at a later date. So if you don’t happen to be an inhabitant of our little island you can still enjoy our left-field game reviews from afar. You can also catch up with our latest radio-plays, songs and comedy videogame reviews on the site. If you are in the UK, we look forward to seeing you.
If it all works out I plan to use some of the footage from the event in the TEDx Exeter talk I’m giving on “Sustainable Perspectives on Video Games.”