2020
05.18

The Game-Over Making of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, 25 Years Later

From Playboy.

Cinematic adaptations of video games are a thing we take for granted these days. In this very year so far, we’ve had movies based on Tomb Raider and Rampage, while the last couple of years have seen Resident EvilAssassin’s Creed and World of Warcraft receive the same treatment. Looking ahead, there are plans for Uncharted and Five Nights at Freddy’s movies, and even a Sonic the Hedgehog one, too.

While it’s heartening, in a way, for gamers to see their medium appreciated by a wider audience, a regrettable pattern has also emerged—painfully low review scores. According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, of the 34 live-action video game movies theatrically released throughout the world to date, just one has crept above 50 percent (the aforementioned Rampage)—and only by a few percentage points at that. The vast majority fall well below the halfway mark, right down to 0 percent, a dishonor held by the panned Tekken film of 2009. Continue reading “The Game-Over Making of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, 25 Years Later” »

2020
05.17

BBC The Social Videos

A collection of videos I made for BBC The Social.

I make videos for BBC The Social about the history and cultural influence of video games, which includes writing the scripts and editing the footage. You can find them embedded below in this post, as well as on the BBC website and YouTube. Continue reading “BBC The Social Videos” »

2020
05.16

From BBC The Social.

Since the early days of the medium, speed is something that’s been rewarded in video gaming. Two of its most well-known icons have it woven into their gameplay; the original Super Mario Bros series added your remaining time to your score upon reaching the end of a level, encouraging faster playthroughs, while Sonic the Hedgehog was even born from co-creator Yuji Naka’s attempts to race through Mario’s first level as quickly as possible.

Much like real-life track and field, a certain section of gaming has come to be based around agility; alongside the rise of e-sports – a huge industry centred around public, competitive gameplay – a phenomenon known as speedrunning has emerged, in which players post their quickest times for getting to the end credits of a game. It’s something that’s resonated with gaming fans around the globe, giving rise to wildly popular YouTube channels, charity events and groups who promote the practice. Continue reading “A Brief History of Speedrunning” »

2020
05.16

How Sonic the Hedgehog Kept Glam Rock Alive In The Grunge Years

From Vice.com.

With tears and sold-out arenas as Mötley Crüe played their contractual final shows at the end of last year, and excited speculation and controversy as the definitive members of Guns N’ Roses spend the summer on a reunion tour, it’s fair to say that there’s a palpable resurgence of interest in ’80s-style heavy metal. Couple those headlines with the facts that satirical glamsters Steel Panther are headlining London’s Wembley Arena this autumn and that Reckless Love are helping to turn Helsinki into the new Sunset Strip, and it becomes increasingly apparent that people have a rekindled affinity with big hair and big riffs. Continue reading “How Sonic the Hedgehog Kept Glam Rock Alive In The Grunge Years” »