Simcity Hype

Phewph, I haven’t updated this in a while, have I?

I’ll try not to draw too much attention to that.

Aside from dying a little inside at no longer being a teenager, my Easter has been rather productive. As part of a multimedia module at university, we’ve been encouraged to get video cameras and recording devices and branch out into the glorious world of multimedia journalism. Who needs print when you can see my awkward frame simply telling you what I want to say?

I don’t like that as much though in truth – not because I’m really shy, but because I think good and honest audio/video journalism needs to look the part to gain any credibility, and that extends beyond what I can do with the equipment I have. It needs a lot of forward-planning, and that’s fine, but I like to be spontaneous with journalism. This is probably a good thing, since I’ve recently taken a shine to the idea of doing some recorded channels of me playing some games, in particular Maxis’ juggernaut Simcity.

These kinds of videos tend to be narrated as you go, which is a daunting task. If you manage to cock it up – by sneezing into the mic and giving everyone the same disorientated state of being as a flashbang grenade, or simply by forgetting to plug in your microphone – it’s back to the drawing board. With the nature of Simcity’s live servers, however, you cannot do that. There’s no reloading autosaves, no rewinding and no spamming CTRL+Z. Once something has come to pass, that’s the hand that fate has dealt and you have to either go with it, or delete whatever you’ve been doing. The latter would be incredibly tempting, but also incredibly messy, and seamless play – looking as if you know what you’re doing even if you don’t – comes across really well.

Looking at it academically, it would be good practice for things like live radio packages and the like – minimizing the amount of times I make a Freudian slip while being recorded and then shout obscenities would be great. I don’t even take part in a lot of recorded media, and yet I still know I have a habit of getting jumbled up even if I have it clear in my head. It’s a ballache, but as the class has been told by the several radio-enthusiasts and employees who have come to speak to us, practice makes perfect.

So yes, I’ll hopefully be purchasing Simcity in the coming days and, if I get time amongst the biblical flood of work that needs to be done before I can go home for the summer, I’ll have a play and see how it goes. I think Maxis have overcome their absolute disaster of a launch (Servergate?) and I should be able to play without any fuss. Perfect!

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