Links roundup for 26 March 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories on gaming and cons that might be of interest to fans:

  • The gaming site Massively recently posted an opinion piece on the “One True Way crowd”. “They’re fans who insist that one particular incarnation was the right way to go and everything afterward has been a poor imitation. The camp exists with MMOs, as well, and just as with any other franchise, it’s arguably the most harmful portion of the fanbase” because it stifles innovation. The writer suggests that because One True Way fans expect new games to simply be ‘better’ versions of their old favorites, they are refusing to let the natural evolution of gaming design take its course, and are “asking for a return to a time that never existed, for the genre to essentially feed upon its past and just produce the same thing eternally–to watch talent and creativity slowly wither and die, with fans slowly breaking away as they come to realize that the past doesn’t hold all of the answers.”
  • Innovation is alive and well in gaming fandom, however. As this Reno News & Review article on video game orchestras notes “the music of video games is often overlooked, especially in a gaming era in where stunning graphics and unique stories take the stage. But a good score can make or break a game.” Fannish music takes many forms such as “Nerdcore—originally dubbed Nintendocore—[which] is any style of music in which the scores from games are covered by musicians, or the musicians create original music inspired by aspects of the game. Chiptune and bitpop refer to music actually made with old school gaming consoles. And there’s the off-shoot subgenres, such as wrock (short for wizard rock, based off Harry Potter) or slackercore (which, true to its name, is hard to define, but is seeped in hacker culture).”
  • Indeed, the “Music of Games” is one of several accompanying panels to the Smithsonian’s “The Art of Video Games” exhibit which opened this month and will travel to a few U.S. cities in 2012. “The Art of Video Games is one of the first exhibitions to explore the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium. [. . .] It features some of the most influential artists and designers during five eras of game technology, from early pioneers to contemporary designers.” The games featured were decided in part by public vote. “The 240 games on the ballot were selected by Chris Melissinos, who worked with the museum and an advisory group consisting of game developers, designers, industry pioneers, and journalists. [. . .] Voting took place between February 14 and April 17, 2011. More than 3.7 million votes were cast by 119,000 people in 175 countries!”
  • The Smithsonian GameFest, which took place on its exhibit’s opening weekend, was a not-for-profit venture, but Exhibition News pointed out how very profitable fan conventions can be. “MCM Expo Group (MCM), owner of six of the UK’s most successful consumer exhibitions, a portfolio of pop culture shows led by the 27,000sqm London MCM Expo at Excel” is the part of the market that is “one of the few to emerge from the recession relatively unscathed.” Like Comic Con, its events evolved. “[W]e started to target video games and manga (Japanese fantasy and sci-fi cartoons and animation). The knock-on effect is that we began seeing a transition of brand away from straightforward comics and movies and our audience became much bigger.”

Regardless of what video game fandom you’re in, why not write about it in Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

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