I write occasional features for Playboy Magazine, which is kinda fun to brag about at parties. Recently, the mag has been trying to tweak their game coverage, upping their features to make them more thoughtful and quite a bit longer.
My editor sent me a copy of the recent magazine to check out how things were looking in print and I noticed a difference. In particular I quite enjoyed their Geniuses at Play feature which gave well-know game designers the space to explain some of the keys to making a good game.
At this point in the 21st century it's clear that video games constitute a medium unto themselves. It's an art form and an industry awash in possibility, with rules and boundaries that have only begun to be explored. When you play a game, whether it's Madden, Tetris or Halo, you create your own unique path through it. We may take video games' multiple narratives for granted, but they are precisely what separates games from other storytelling media. The player is as much the author of the experience as the game's creator.
To discern what makes the medium of video games different from other forms that preceded it, we spoke with some of the foremost minds in the industry. They told us where games have been, where they're headed and what it all means. Some are cynical, some are stressed, others starry-eyed. All are passionate about what they do.
The article goes on to quote the likes of Warren Spector, Sid Meier, Ken Levine and Denis Dyack. Good read. But what I found even more interesting in the magazine (no, not that) was this quirky little Advertorial tucked away next to the game reviews.
The two-page ad was set up to look like a straight-up Playboy Interview with Kane of Kane & Lynch fame. The ad is full of back story grist, details about The 7, Kane's conviction on 25 counts of manslaughter and who the fictitious Kane would like to see portray him in a movie.
This is stacks better than a babe search for best sexy mascot, if you ask me.