IT’S been a long time since video killed the radio star.
Truth is, video has regretted it ever since. He was young, then, and foolish. These days he’s trying to make amends, taking up residence on the internet — the one place where all the media live in harmony. In fact, video is determined to take on the best of radio’s qualities and honour them. Consider YouTube Gaming, for example, which has finally launched. This is video trying to emulate his fallen brother, opening up the radio waves to anyone willing to broadcast, placing the focus almost entirely on live content and the cult of personality alone. Just like the pirate radio stations of old, anyone with talent and passion can become a star on this platform.
YouTube Gaming won’t just create a legion of PewDiePie wannabes. It will also offer a whole new avenue of exposure for live competitive gaming and products that would otherwise struggle for recognition. It is, in all likelihood, the beginning of games as a spectator event. The question, now, is how developers will begin to accommodate it, especially with Twitch already doing a great job of live-streaming content.
Could the rankings system on Call of Duty change, awarding more experience for events with larger audiences, to reflect the pressure that goes with that? Will matches of FIFA soon be streamed by enough people to fill Croke Park? Will special performances, or crowd-pleasing moves, be rewarded through audience interaction, with players gaining boosts or advantages for entertaining the viewers? Or perhaps, in a more likely turn of events, developers will ‘sell’ air time to players, with people literally paying for their ten minutes of fame. The possibilities are endless.
YouTube obviously sees the potential. This is the first area of the site to be sectioned off into its own space. Which is probably all the better for poor, remorseful video — he still doesn’t realise that radio is alive and well on TuneIn.
If YouTube has proven anything, it’s that all the world really is a stage, and most of us are terrible scriptwriters. Still, original theatre continues to thrive, and a company in France are showing how the medium could change with the times.
The company, called Theatre in Paris, have developed surtitling glasses that display the dialogue as actors strut their stuff on the boards. The text language, colour, size and font can all be adjusted. You can even skip lines if the actors happen to make a mistake. Usually, surtitles are shown above the stage on a projected screen, but reading them can draw attention from the actors, so this was the proposed solution. Subtitles, of course, would be below Broadway. (Get it?)
The initiative is part of French town Avignon’s push for digitalism. “It is a perfect marriage of new technologies and theatre as old as time,” said Paul Rondin, managing director of the Avignon Festival. “It represents a good exploitation of the complementary nature of these two worlds, which we all need.”
‘The complementary nature of these two worlds’ — those words might well have been spoken about Hollywood and gaming. Yet, like two lovers that keep banging heads when they try to kiss, these industries just can’t get it on.
Still, there is always hope on the horizon. Case in point: the first picture has been released of Michael Fassbender in the Assassin’s Creed adaptation. His character will be called Callum Lynch, which leads one to assume Lynch is Irish.
Of course, Hollywood doesn’t exactly have the greatest tradition of representing our nation on screen, which could make this movie a double disaster. Let’s hope Callum won’t be using those famous Creed haystacks for sleeping off a hangover.
Far more interesting was the news from Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, where it was announced that Borderlands has been acquired by Lionsgate for adaptation. Unlike most gaming franchises, Borderlands has that golden combination of fantastic world building and top-notch writing, the latter coming in the form of Telltale Games adventures games based on the series.
As movies go, nothing really compares to the violence, humour and colour of Borderlands which means, if handled right, gaming might finally be bringing something new to the table at Hollywood. It borders on unbelievable.
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