There was no way to take a photo of it, but last night, one of the best displays of integrated media I’ve ever seen was at Video Games Live, at the Hollywood Bowl.
My understanding is that the Bowl is a “no fly zone”: not to be interrupted by planes or helicopters – and certainly not by the Goodyear Blimp. But, lo and behold, there was the Blimp itself, in all its multicolored display glory, announcing itself as a sponsor of autism research, and informing us that Goodyear hoses and belts were the official parts of NASCAR. Of course, it’s a captive audience, but I was wondering – wouldn’t there be some repercussion for violating the sancity of the Bowl?
Then one of the contest portions of the evening began. A random audience member – a ten year old boy – was chosen to play Space Invaders, while the orchestra played the game music in real time. He had two minutes to beat the first level. The catch was that he had to run back and forth to move the ship at the bottom of the screen. And so, Tommy Tallarico explained the game – and then yelled, “Hey, is the Goodyear Blimp still up there? Hey, Blimp, can I get a two minute countdown?” And the blimp immediately flashed up “2:00”
And that was just a small part of VGL, which I loved. The clips were beautifully put together, focusing on the stories of the games (where possible). There were video intros and cameo appearances by original game score composers. The musicians were brilliantly talented, from the Philharmonic Orchestra, to the “Halo” guitar soloist, to the choirs and solo singers who provided the vocals. It was a beautiful evening, and an amazingly well done event, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Oh, and that Space Invaders kid? He didn’t make it in time. But the whole time he was playing, the boyfriend and I were happily yelling quotes from Futurama’s Anthology of Interest II, where Fry asks, “what if life were more like a video game? “DROP DOWN! CHANGE DIRECTION! INCREASE SPEED!” VGL may not have been what Matt Groening was envisioning in that episode – but it was close enough.
EDIT: I totally forgot to mention that BT opened, and his performance was amazing. I adore BT to begin with, and the integrated composition – words, video, music – that he composed for his daughter was so heartfelt that I actually started crying. BT alone was worth the price of admission