Category Archives: Documentary

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

Hallway

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.

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

Shigeru Miyamoto’s Design Philosophy

Christophe Haubursin and Joe Posner of Vox interview Shigeru Miyamoto about his particular design philosophy. In the video, Miyamoto describes how, when he started in the ’80s, most video game designers were programmers and engineers, not artists and designers.

A more detailed synopsis of the video is available here.

featured image from “How the inventor of Mario designs a game” and is believed to be used in accordance with fair use

NoClip Presents: Rediscovering Mystery

Rather than focus on a single game, the new documentary by NoClip covers the idea of mystery in games, particularly those urban legends that quickly spread before the internet made such mysteries easy to prove or debunk.

The video interviews Jim Crawford (creator of Frog Fractions), Derek Yu (creator of Spelunky), and Jonathan Blow (designer of Braid).

featured image from “Rediscovering Mystery – Noclip Documentary (feat. Jonathan Blow / Derek Yu / Jim Crawford)” and is believed to be used in accordance with Fair Use

Noclip’s First Documentary: Rocket League

In early September, Danny O’Dwyer left GameSpot in order to crowdfund a video game documentary series. After reaching well beyond his $10,000/month goal, O’Dwyer released a teaser that revealed the title of the series: Noclip. On October 31st, Noclip released their first documentary, a two-part film about Psyonix, the developers of Rocket League (2015).

Continue reading Noclip’s First Documentary: Rocket League