On November 14th, from the bustling halls of Gamercamp Lv2, some key members of Toronto’s games media sisterhood came together to record an impromptu video podcast. Featured here is Toronto Thumbs’ Jorge Figueiredo, Don Tam of GameNorth, freelancer Dana Russo, who contributes to both Thumbs and GN, Comics & Gaming Monthly’s Eric Weiss, Electric Playground’s Shaun Hatton and me, Brady Curlew’s Brady Curlew. Look out for epic cameo appearances by Zen Rankin’s Super Mario Bros. vest and chiptuners Anamanaguchi.
Since this recording was rather spur of the moment, it’s a nice mix of playful irreverance and insightful, in-the-moment commentary about this year’s Gamercamp. Indeed, we share our thoughts on everything from Mathew Kumar’s pointed Gamercamp keynote which furiously critiqued the state of the gaming press to the corporate evils of those who manufacture Lucky Charms cereal. Residents of Moose Jaw, SK should observe the following with several grains of salt.
On Sunday November 14th, as Gamercamp Level 2 was winding down, Comics & Gaming Monthly’s Eric Weiss, GameNorth’s Don Tam and I spoke with event organizers Mark Rabo and Jaime Woo. For the uninitiated, Gamercamp is a now-annual celebration of the art, creativity and community involved with games in Toronto, featuring everything from developer presentations to retro gaming stations to a nostalgic cereal breakfast at which attendees were encouraged to wear pyjamas. Over the course of our time with Mark and Jaime, we discussed the roots of Gamercamp, their thoughts on the Toronto video games community and what the future holds for their event. Finally, the pair revealed details to us about the recently announced Gamercamp Jr.
Brady Curlew: We’d like to have a general, post-event discussion with you guys to get your impressions about Gamercamp Level 2. How do you think the weekend went?
Jaime Woo: Mark and I are very proud to have organized this year’s Gamercamp. We tried to listen to what people wanted, and it seems now like people liked what they experienced.
|By Eric Weiss, Comics & Gaming Monthly|
Back in August, Brady and I conducted an impromptu interview with Jeff Cannata (Reviews on the Run, amongst other things), and certain parts of that conversation have been kicking around in my head for a while now. For reference, Brady said:
Games in general…are already accepted as culture and recognized as having social meaning and value. They’ve been around as long or longer than visual representation, if we see that as the root of art, and are tied to an inherently natural system of play. Games are the formalization of play, and play exists beyond human behaviour since it’s found in animals.
As a game journalist, I get paid to dissect and comment on all manner of games and game-related news. It’s a fun job, but it’s still a job, and I spend most of my day doing things other than playing games in order to justify a career that involves playing games.
I bring this up because while the impulse to play may be natural, our actual process has become increasingly artificial, especially when measured against other living creatures. For instance, one of my current roommates happens to have a puppy, and her uncomplicated daily routine makes video gaming seem arbitrary.