Over the past few months, I’ve been left radio silent for a host of not so interesting reasons. But now I’m back, ready to provide more insights into the intersections of digital games, play and culture for which Play Till Doomsday has come to be known.
I’ve also started contributing to CultureGET, a catchall blog site covering the wide swath of “pop-culture awesomeness” in Toronto. I’ll be primarily writing about games, but may try to sneak in some posts about music, books, movies and food, my schedule permitting. Check out my first post, featuring my impressions of Microsoft Canada’s recent Gears of War 3 Beta event.
Finally, I’m happy to support (and join) the Toronto Nerd Mafia initiative, as spearheaded by the guys from Slothy Productions / Lazy Reviewzzz, in an effort to create a collective that empowers the amateur and/or independent pop culture media scene in Canada. See the Nerd Mafia Facebook page for more info.
A recent Toronto Star story about the accomplishments of the Canadian games industry details how economic support from governments has fostered a strong and growing game development sector within Canada, while tax breaks have enticed foreign publishers to set up shop in cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, bringing thousands of highly sought after info-economy jobs with them. However, after noting the technical competence and multi-billion dollar prowess of the Canadian interactive media industry, the story laments that “the video game is a medium still searching for cultural legitimacy,” in Canada and in general. The piece wraps up by suggesting that the “video games industry has found the money” but “its quest for meaning continues.”
This perspective supports a very generalized theory about the mainstream acceptance of creative industries that I’ve mentioned here before. For a form of pop culture to receive mass acceptance and respect, and to flourish financially and creatively, the theory suggests that it must satisfy at least three conditions: