Beyond Pong

A new documentary about video games is available online.

Beyond Pong: The Evolution of Video Games is a student documentary produced by Andy Nwoye of Michigan State University. The film is described as “a story about how video games have ‘come of age’ and how some have taken their passion for gaming to the next level.” It is driven by many interviews of people who have grown up with video games over the past 30 years and have a connection to them.

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed for Beyond Pong last June, and I do appear in the documentary (as does my younger son, William). Other interviewees included Jay Semerad of Red Leader Audio, Brian Winn of MSU’s GEL (Games for Entertainment & Learning) Lab, and Dr. Henry Jenkins of MIT, to name just a few.

The documentary can be viewed at the Beyond Pong web site. Note that the full running time is 40 minutes and it requires QuickTime 7 to play. (That latter requirement delayed this posting somewhat.)

My interview took place in my office, so the curious can see some of my working environment. It must be said, however, that my Williams Fun-Fest pinball machine steals the show. If one looks very closely, one can see a part of my large game book collection, too. (The book close-ups are just what I have directly behind me as I type this.) The shot of me getting beaten in Midtown Madness 3 by my son is in the living quarters, outside the office door.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go to the gym to lose the 20+ pounds that camera added…

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