Thursday, March 01, 2007

' I,VideoGame ' on Discovery Channel

"I, Videogame," which will air worldwide in Spring 2007 on the Discovery Channel is all about videogames, the biggest industry today even larger than hollywood business as it's speculated.

I've been seeing all this TV promo and thought to jot down something about it quickly on here.

For Asia continent, if i'm not wrong, then "I,VideoGame" will be aired in March 1st,2007 starting precisely at 9:15 pm NST on Discovery Channel. It's Nepalese time.

I bet, every gamers or gamefreak would love that show. There is one on Ten Sport called Gamers TV, now this one would sure enough to create buzz on Gamers circle here in Kathmandu.

In the words of Discovery Channel(Asia):

ABOUT THE SHOW

The videogame revolution has been underway for decades, progressing from simple amusements created in the 1950s to an all-pervasive force in today’s popular culture that rivals – and will perhaps soon surpass – film and television. What began as a sub-culture pastime has evolved and transcended genres to become a unique form of expression impacting everything from modern warfare to interpersonal relationships.

I, VIDEOGAME is a comprehensive and progressive exploration of the past, present and future of videogames and video gamers. From the early days of Pong to today’s ever-popular Halo 2 and from Atari 2600 to Nintendo to PlayStation, I, VIDEOGAME tells the story of the people, the ideologies and the technology behind video games and how they have exploded into a cultural phenomenon. The evolution of gaming has seen the pendulum move from the days of games replicating society, to society replicating games. Featuring interviews with giants in the gaming industry of yesterday and today, this five-part series examines the evolution of the videogame and its cultural impact on the world of entertainment today.

"I, VIDEOGAME is a provocative ‘rockumentary’ on the birth of a new form of entertainment, as influenced by the social, political and cultural movements of the times,” said Rebecca Batties, Executive Vice President, Creative Development and Brand Management, Discovery Networks International. “By offering a fresh perspective on the history and art of gaming, this series demonstrates Discovery Channel’s commitment to exploring the events, trends and developments that shape our modern world."

I, VIDEOGAME is executive produced by Robert Curran for Discovery Networks International and Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato for World of Wonder.

PROGRAMME SYNOPSIS

Episode 1

In the 1950s, the Cold War quickly evolved between the world superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union. Mutually assured destruction enforced an uneasy stalemate, yet also drove computer technology to create missile simulations in order to predict the results of a nuclear war. This same computer technology was used to develop the first computer game in 1958 – Tennis for Two. The Space Race and the Vietnam war coincided with Steve Russell’s game Space War! and the emergence of the first true giants in the videogame business – Nolan Bushnell and Atari. In post-World War II Japan, electronics and computer technology emerged to rebuild a land and economy devastated by the atomic bomb. Space Invaders and Pac-Man soon followed, and the Golden Age of videogames was born. Among others, individuals featured in this episode include Steve Russell, Nolan Bushnell, Ralph Baer (considered by many to be the inventor of the videogame) and Toru Iwatani (Pac-Man designer). Videogames emerged as a form of entertainment where the player was in control, as opposed to the more passive diversion of watching television.


Episode 2

In the late 1970s and 1980s, instead of controlling “things” like spaceships and tennis rackets, videogame technology let players command recognizable characters with real faces and back stories. Game developers were liberated to create more complex videogames with heroic journeys – and Japanese creators like Shigeru Miyamoto rose to prominence with star characters Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda. But in the 1990s, Generation X emerged and the games of their childhood couldn’t satisfy the new teen angst that now permeated pop culture. With Sega’s Genesis and Sony’s PlayStation, gamers dismissed cutesy cartoon characters in favour of grittier heroes like Sonic the Hedgehog and anti-heroes in games like Grand Theft Auto III. As players grew up, their youthful idealism was replaced with a warier view of the world and a yearning for photorealistic, angry anti-heroes. This episode features interviews with Trip Hawkins (Silicon Valley entrepreneur and co-founder of Electronic Arts), Al Lowe (creator of Leisure Suit Larry), Tim Schafer (creator of Full Throttle) and other notable figures in the gaming industry.


Episode 3

It was a foreign concept to the early game designers, but with games like Castle Wolfenstein 3-D and Doom, videogames grew from their primitive 2-D roots into richly detailed 3-D worlds. These groundbreaking 3-D games led the industry down new paths – both thrilling and troubling. Designers now had the technology to create games that accurately simulated the real world. For the first time, game designers had to grapple with a difficult question – how long before a game was nearly indistinguishable from reality? For all the controversy surrounding the first-person shooter genre in videogames, its popularity was undeniable. And in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the same government that fought to regulate videogames quickly designed their own as a recruiting tool for the army. America’s Army was born and an even more sensitive debate arose as to the morality of recruiting young men for real war through the fun of a videogame. Were games desensitizing us to the very real pain of violence and war? And more importantly, were videogames leading us on a march towards virtual war? Some people interviewed in this episode include Colonel Casey Wardynski (Director and project originator of America’s Army) and Asi Burak (producer of Peacemaker – a computer game simulation of the Israeli-Arab conflict).


Episode 4

Ever since the invention of the computer, man has feared “the machine” and its ability to think. But a computer’s unique computational power has also led to the development of games that are unpredictable, intelligent and malleable. “God games” like SimCity and Civilization simulate entire worlds and let players experiment with cause and effect. As the 1990s dawned, global turmoil forced gamers to find solace in the world of videogames – a virtual world that offered control at a time when the real world seemed dangerously out of control. Now, videogames have become tools for learning and creative expression. Players use games like Halo and Unreal Tournament 3 to tell their own stories via Machinima or through custom content that is shared with others over the internet. The line between producer and customer has forever blurred – further proof that videogames are destined to become the dominant form of entertainment. This episode features Will Wright (creator of SimCity, The Sims and Spore), Sid Meier (developed the game series Civilization) and John Brennan (voice actor from the Jerky Boys and Family Guy).


Episode 5

The advent of the internet has changed everything – including videogames. When ARPNET, a military precursor to the internet, went live in 1969, gamers almost immediately began using this new technology for gaming. But what began as text-based adventure games called MUDs (multi-user dungeons) quickly evolved into graphic-based online adventure games called MMOs (massively multi-player online games). Millions worldwide have battled together and against one another in the latest genre of videogame. From Ultima Online to the most successful MMO of all time, World of Warcraft, gamers now are attracted to virtual second lives as they battle friends and foes across the globe from the safety of their home computers. In the virtual world, gamers have found they can be anyone or anything. The ability to reinvent oneself virtually has become an irresistible experience for many, and has some critics wondering whether the line between the real world and the virtual world has become dangerously blurred. Many gamers spend more time in the virtual world than the real world, but they argue that the virtual experiences of MMOs are still human experiences simply delivered via the latest wave of technology – the videogame. This episode includes interviews with Cory Ondrejka (Chief Technology Officer at Linden Lab) and Richard Bartle (British writer and game researcher best known for being the co-author of MUD)

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hiya,

It airs on 16 March and the link to the SEAsia website on it is http://www.discoverychannelasia.com/i_videogame/

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