Category Archives: Publications

Brazil’s Gray Market Video Game Culture

Drew Scanlon of Cloth Map has released the first part in a series exploring video game culture in Brazil. His first video, “Brazil’s Video Game Gray Markets“, explores how a political dictatorship in the ’70s and ’80s influenced the path for video game production and consumption in Brazil.

Scanlon mentions that he will release more videos featuring Brazil’s fandom, game development community, and the “most dangerous” place in Brazil. Continue reading Brazil’s Gray Market Video Game Culture

What’s Your Favorite Video Game?

I conducted an informal survey among attendees at the Kentucky Fried Zine Fest and among my Facebook friends. The question I asked was simple: what’s your favorite video game?

The responses were varied and insightful. Some people left one-word answers while others gave elaborate responses. I have compiled this into a printable zine that you can download here or from Issuu. Continue reading What’s Your Favorite Video Game?

Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone

Cloth Map‘s Drew Scanlon explores Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone through the eyes of video game interactions. He compares the real life experiences of a real life post-apocalyptic wasteland to scenes in games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and The Last of Us.

A Strange Feeling


Throughout the video, Scanlon tries to pinpoint why he feels strange, whether it’s the radiation or something else. “When we entered an apartment complex,” he says, “I couldn’t put my finger on why it felt so strange until I realized it’s odd to be walking through a large building and feel a breeze.”

Continue reading Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone

Virtual Tour of California Extreme

Cloth Map released a 360 degree video of California Extreme, one of the United States’ largest arcade and pinball expositions. On a computer screen, you can click and drag the mouse in order to look in a 360 degree arc around the camera, as well as up or down. On a phone, you can move the phone to look around. The video also supports Google Cardboard.

Drew Scanlon, founder of Cloth Map, walks with Steve Lin, founding board member of the Video Game History Foundation. They look at various machines while Lin explains eye-catching videos.

Cloth Map is a video series that explores how games affect communities around the world. Scanlon announced in April that their first in-depth documentary would be about Ukraine. While the Ukraine gaming documentary has yet to be released, Scanlon did release a video about his experience in Ukraine at Eurovision.

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VICE Pinball Documentary

In August 2015, VICE released a video called “Pinball: From Illegal Gambling Game to American Obsessions”. The video was part of VICE’s series called American Obsessions.

The video includes interviews with Zach Sharpe, President of the International Flipper Pinball Association; Walter Day, referee for and founder of Twin Galaxies; Roger Sharpe, known as “The Man Who Saved Pinball”; and Michael Schiess, founder of the Pacific Pinball Museum.

The video also covers the history of pinball and how it was banned in major US cities because of gambling. Roger Sharpe managed to prove that pinball was a game of skill (not chance), thus decriminalizing it in many US cities. Decades later, Schiess had to talk with his city council in order to get pinball legalized for his museum. Near the end, Zach Sharpe competes in a pinball tournament at the Chicago Pinball Expo.

The video was recently shared on VICE’s Facebook page, which brought this to my attention, and I wanted to share with the Maze Rats readers!

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Final Fantasy XIV Documentary Explores Hubris, Failure, & Redemption

NoClip has released their newest series of documentaries on Final Fantasy XIV (2010, 2013). FFXIV is an MMORPG that had a bumpy launch and received a large backlash from the gaming press as well as fans. In an effort to maintain their reputation, Square Enix opted to completely recreate the game from scratch over the course of three years. This documentary uncovers why the game underwhelmed their fans, how the company responded, and how they went about saving the franchise.

Danny O’Dwyer interviewed several key members of the Final Fantasy XIV dev team, including English Language Localization Lead Michael-Christopher Koji Fox, Engineering Team Leader Hideyuki Kasuga, Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, and Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida.

You can view all of NoClip’s videos on YouTube. You can view all videos in the Final Fantasy XIV series here.

The Atlantic Article Written on an Emulated Mac

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the Internet Archive’s Macintosh collection. Adrienne LaFrance covers technology for The Atlantic and recently wrote about her own experiences with the Macintosh emulator.

LaFrance writes the first couple of paragraphs of the article in MacWrite on the emulated desktop environment before having to start over because there’s no way to cut-paste. A large portion of her article interviews Jason Scott, the archivist at the Internet Archive who is responsible for such collections as “The Malware Museum” and “Internet Arcade“, which includes over 600 playable arcade games. Continue reading The Atlantic Article Written on an Emulated Mac

Giant Bomb’s New Hires: Abby Russell & Ben Pack

Giant Bomb recently announced two new hires: Ben Pack at their San Francisco office and Abby Russell at their New York office.

Ben Pack has interned at Giant Bomb when they were a wholly owned company under the umbrella of Whiskey Media. He started in 2011 and talked about it on a blog post at Sidequesting. Pack is an Editor and has already been featured in Quick Look’s for games such as The Signal from Tölva and The Surge.

Abby Russell is an Associate Producer and sat in with the regulars of The Giant Beastcast in Episode 103.

Communities are talking about this at NeoGAF and at Waypoint‘s new forums.

featured image copyright CBS Interactive, believed to be used in accordance with fair use

IGN Hiring Editors, Marketing, Engineers, etc.

Last week, IGN released a press release announcing openings for the positions of “Associate Editor – PC” and “Associate Editor – Gameplay” along with several marketing, engineering, and quality assurance positions. The position of “Associate Editor – Gameplay” will focus on covering speedruns, esports, and “highly skilled casual players”. For Maze Rats readers who are more interested in gaming communities and personal interest stories, this position specifically will be following. The press release also mentions that IGN is always looking for new freelancers.

Click here for the complete job listings.

IGN started in 1996 as Imagine Games Network. In 2005, IGN was purchased by News Corp for $650 million (source). In 2011, IGN Entertainment acquired UGO Entertainment (owners of from Hearst Corporation (source). In 2013, News Corp sold IGN Entertainment to Ziff Davis (source). Ziff Davis was known as the publishers behind Electronic Gaming Monthly and ZDTV, a cable channel that eventually became Tech TV and then G4. News Corp is known for owning FOX News, among others.

featured image is a registered trademark of IGN Entertainment Inc. and is believed to be used in accordance with fair use

International Gaming Documentary’s First Location: Ukraine

The first video by gaming documentary series Cloth Map will be about Ukraine, specifically focusing on Kiev. In the video, Drew Scanlon talks about exploring the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown on the nation’s culture, but he also says that an entire culture can’t be defined by a single event, so he wants to see what else Ukraine has to offer. Scanlon also discusses the Eurovision Song Contest, which he has tickets for and will attend, although it’s unclear if this is part of the documentary.

In the video, he says that he will start filming in a month, but he is doing preliminary research and wanted to announce early so that he could get as much feedback as possible about what people want to see. Continue reading International Gaming Documentary’s First Location: Ukraine