Tag Archives: zaeem hosany

Adults & Videogames

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mk2-screen2I wrote this post 3 years ago but never got round to publishing it, I found the draft while going through my music folder. I find my writing style to have been a little juvenile and passive aggressive at the time but I thought best to post this as it was written then without any corrections. Please note that some of the figures below are now out of date.

“I’m writting this piece so I can express my bewilderment as to the general public’s ignorance in regards to modern videogames and the people who play them.

As a proud console owner, I sometimes feel that adult gamers are often the subject of ridicule due to their purportedly childish hobby. Those jokes often come from people who haven’t touched a console since they were what? 12?!

Lets start with a couple of facts about the gaming industry:

  • The commercial videogame industry has been around for close to 40 years.
  • The global industry is worth £35+ billion pounds.
  • The industry directly provides 32000 jobs in the US alone and a lot more in peripheral companies.

The industry has yearly trade shows like TGS and E3 where gaming journalists (yes these are journalists that report on games similar to those that report on films).

Atari2600The ‘playstation generation’ as we are sometimes referred to, has grown up in parallel with the growth and maturity of the games industry. I started in the late 80s playing on my dad’s Amstrad PC. Graphics weren’t much but gameplay was solid on games like Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon. I moved up to the Atari console which had many more games and then onto the MegaDrive where I was introduced to Street Fighter. When the 16-bit era started, SOnic the hedgehog and other staples of the videogame industry were born. The games were targeted to gamers under 18 as they likely were the only generation that had grown up playing the earlier videogames, therefore it was assumed that only they would be interested in the industry.

haa2501frontLets not forget though that the games were being developed by adults for big companies and those adults had probably not played many if any video games during their youth simply because they didnt exist at the time. Mortal Kombat was released in arcades and afterwards ported onto consoles. MK was definitely not a kids’ game and featured violence and gore in a very surreal way but this gave us gamers an insight into the future of gaming as we journeyed into adult life. As violence became mainstream thanks to movie franchises like lethal weapon, Terminator, Die Hard, Predator, it became acceptable to have violence in videogames as long as they were properly labelled. This was another phase of videogames maturing with the gamers and the society around them.

playstation

A few years later came the Playstation, fathered by Ken Kuturagi. The console was groundbreaking in terms of technical ability giving developers the possibility to build interactive 3D worlds for gamers to do battle in. Videogame realism further improved giving opportunities for games to try and emulate the special effects found in movies. The improved memory capabilities of Compact discs also allowed for better story telling in games. As gamers were getting older and more educated, their tastes were changing and growing progressively. They didnt just want to shoot monsters, they wanted a reason to shoot the monsters, they wanted to know their character’s backstory so they can relate to them. They wanted believable enemies so they could understand why they had to shoot them. The playstation has sold 102 million units worldwide since its release.

Halo_Combat_Evolved_In_Halo_3Gamers and developers of every calibre embraced the console and the industry giving rise to developers who would specialise in certain genres of games, some would specialise on a specific franchise and others on specific gamer age groups.

The original amstrad PC gamers were now in their early 20s and going into the employement world (to which many a gamer was to be lost and never recovered). Those who did stick to the hobby, used their hard earned cash to purchase consoles and games. With the advent of the internet, gamer communities were created around forums, people sharing walkthroughs, writing reviews and creating mods for PC games. The advent of the Playstation also brought in better FMV (full motion video) support, CD music and VCD playback, bringing games a tad closer to the movie entertainment industry. Games now had intricate plots, characterisations, voice acting, drama (see: Metal Gear Solid).

metal-gear-solid-hdThe latter elements of a game were created not just because the technology allowed for it but also due to the demand from older gamers for…well ‘older gamer oriented games’. We wanted stories that would rival the ones we read/watch on television, special effects that would rival Sci-fi blockbusters  and characters/worlds that would be easily recognisable as a brand just like other parts of our life was similarly branded: NIKE, NISSAN, SONY, NOKIA etc.

Gaming was always part of pop culture but it has now become even more prominent and dare I say …mainstream.

If you’re curious about this hobby, please ask a friend who has a console to help you play one of their favorite games and ask them why they like it so much. You never know, you may have a hidden talent at a particular game!

AC2_3

I’ve got mail!

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          A month ago I posted yet another ad on Mandy.com for a 2d animator, I didn’t have much hope as previous ads hadn’t generated any replies at all. You can imagine my surprise when I received 20+ replies to this ad. 20+ Applications to become PhatFyterz’s(?) 2D animator, that’s what I call a result. This weekend I will be going through the various showreels on vimeo and youtube and selecting a few for an informal chat.

Although I am pleased by the popularity of the ad, it is also concerning that so many of the applicants have around a decade of experience in the industry and are still struggling to find work. I suppose with the pervasiveness of visual media these days, a lot more people are interested in getting into that industry, demand for animators is short but supply is very high. I will be ’employing’ one of the guys/gals at no fee as it is a not for profit project at this point.

However, after seeing so many experienced artists out of work, it has renewed my interest in turning this project into a commercially viable one in the near future so that I can actually employ one of these people without the air quotes. What’s also cool is that the artists are from all over the place, some in London, Birmingham, Ireland, Spain and even Georgia! I didn’t realise mandy.com was so commonly used.

I look forward to watching your work and speaking to you all very soon!

Your’s,
Z

A New Hope?

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OldMauritiaA friend and supporter of XtinctFilms recently started a small venture. And that venture is ‘Old Mauritia’. An old continent was recently discovered by researchers and it turns out that its sitting directly under the island of Mauritius.

Who knew?

A couple of people then decided to raise awareness about this discovery by linking to news articles on a website. What started as a news portal about the discovery soon turned into a rallying point for the mauritian community on Facebook.

On 30.03.13 a month’s worth of rainfall occured in just under 2 hours in the capital city of Mauritius, Port Louis. The flash flood caused irreperable damages to houses, stores, roads, schools and also took 11 lives.

Mauritius_flood_2013

Neither city nor country was prepared for such a disaster hence why public services did not manage to act on time to warn the population and avoid casualties. The death toll rose as the water subsided, bringing to light the extent of the damage. There was another light however, one which arose from within the people, in a rare act of solidarity, people from all communities banded together and started a clean up operation alongside government employees.

Flood1From all over the country, donations were coming in, food, clothing, domestic appliances and funds. People were checking on their neighbours, elders and youngers, the spirit of unity and patriotism was overwhelmingly felt by the population.

Mauritians abroad started getting the news, the OldMauritia facebook page was bustling with activity as the updates kept coming in regarding the flood. One of the OldMauritia team members was on the ground at Le Caudan Waterfront as the events unfolded. She managed to escape to safety but not before she took some striking images of the events unfolding around her. She was a changed person by the time she made it out.

The next day, she took it upon herself to post a short video about what she had seen in order to get more people informed. She then joined the clean-up operation and has been keeping us up to date ever since.

CandlesA candlelit vigil was held in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 6th April, attended by Mauritians from all over London and outside. It was a time for reflection on the deaths of our fellow contrymen and on what we can do to help our country in these dire circumstances.

It gives one hope to see us all united in facing this act of nature, I continue to hope that this unity remains, not only in the face of adversity but also in times of normality.

Un Mauricien avant tout,

Zaeem

Photos courtesy of http://www.euronews.com and http://www.facebook.com/OldMauritia

Discs out?

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Hey Friends and Fans,

We have sent out a copy of their best scene to the majority of our actors and the feedback has been very good so far. It has given us a moral boost in continuing the endless task that is editing. We did not find a decent editor in the end so we’re trying other avenues and looking for a 2D graphic artist instead so that we can add a bit of ‘zing’ in the scene transitions rather than sticking with traditional fades and zooms.

Should we not find one, what do we do? I guess we’ll be learning 2D animation then!

Guest Post – Samantha Sheratt as Allie

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Hey all, editing is still in full swing and going rather well, I must say. Here is a little post that our lead actress wrote during filming, enjoy! – Zaeem

“So. Phat Fyterz. I had the phone call last week from Zaeem being told I had just been cast as the lead character of Allie in the Pilot of Phat Fyterz, the new TV series.

My auditions were filmed by my friend on her iphone in some rather interesting locations (a secret door through the disabled toilets that leads into the pipe and storage room) so I was quite impressed my acting managed to be good enough to overcome the weird location and iphone camera.

After a colder than it looked rehearsal in front of the London Eye last Sunday, today we went to London Bridge to hang about in front of a shop and look like we were generally up to no good (again, definitely colder than expected).

I got to tell a man off for eating too many bananas (in the short time we were there I saw him eating 3 – that’s just too many bananas for anyone and who knows how many more he’d eaten before I saw him) Allie stole booze from a poor bespectacled man and also had a piggy back race and won, and I generally ran around trying not to freeze.

After a warming drink in a pub afterwards we sorted out all the shoot dates and watched the Wakefield Wildcats (my home town team) lose a rugby match really badly and also introduced Mo who plays Toby to the wonderful warming drink that is Baileys.

My fingers are really crossed that we get some of that beautiful sunshine back into our lives for the next outside shoot dates. Can you tell I don’t like being cold?!

Bring on the next scenes!-Sam”