On Gaming


July 25, 2011


Celebrities overshadow video games at Comic-Con

Video games have become just as much a part of our culture as any other form of entertainment. However, with our societal obsession on celebrity, this industry finds itself playing a distant second fiddle to Hollywood as one of Comic-Con’s main attractions.

Amid the multiple copies of “Wonder Woman” or the ever-growing number of conventioneers donning their finest steampunk-inspired garb, attendees of San Diego’s Comic-Con International this past week could almost always spot a Dante or Master Chief tucked in among the ranks of masked revelers.

And while most convention goers could easily identify these latter characters as belonging to the “Devil May Cry” and “Halo” franchises, respectively, when given the option most would admittedly prefer to attend a panel on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” or director Kevin Smith’s yearly discussion.

In part, much of this can be attributed to hangover from E3, as the expo is well deserving of its moniker as the industry’s most important annual event.

As it stands, studios devote entire teams, as well as shift development schedules, to ensure their company has something to show off at the show.

Unfortunately, this also leaves little time for new development between the two events, which means that much of what gets shown during Comic-Con is simply recycled from the previous month.

In the past, this was more than enough to keeps fans engaged, and for their part game makers have done a much better job of putting a fresh coat of paint onto rehashed content.

However, the problem is that with news cycles now being measured in minutes, most gamers have already had more than enough opportunity to ingest just about every second of E3 coverage well before the time Comic-Con rolls around in July.

That is not to say Comic-Con is devoid of video game exclusives. To the contrary, each year, more companies have begun to use San Diego’s largest convention as an opportunity to continue the conversation they started about their product at E3.

This year for example, Bioware announced that it had begun accepting pre-orders for its upcoming “Star Wars: The Old Republic” at the event.

We also learned a few more details on “Batman: Arkham City,” including the addition of Talia al Ghul as a character in the game.

Microsoft unveiled a Star Wars-themed version of its Xbox 360, which will feature a 320GB hard drive, Kinect Camera and bear a striking resemblance to R2-D2.

AMD also showed off its presence at the event, as the chipmaker was the title sponsor of the event’s annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

Unfortunately, while panels from Blizzard or even the aforementioned “Star Wars: The Old Republic” draw their own set of faithful, most people found themselves talking about the premiere of “Cowboys & Aliens” or Steven Spielberg’s announcement of “Jurassic Park 4.”

Admittedly, it’s not every day San Diego gets a red-carpet premiere. But it does show that in spite of the video game industry now outpacing all other forms of entertainment in terms of sales, at Comic-Con it takes a backseat.


July 25, 2011


Events Calendar


Upcoming Events

Gunmetal Blues, the Musical

Sun, Feb 1
North Coast Repertory Theatre
Solana Beach
San Diego Premier! Music and lyrics by Craig Bohmler and Marion Adler. Directed by Andrew Barnicle.

The Darrell Hammond Project

Sun, Feb 1
Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre
La Jolla
The Darrell Hammond Project, based on Hammondís acclaimed memoir, God, If Youíre Not Up There, Iím F*cked: Tales of Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live and Other Mind-Altering Mayhem, invites the audience on a heartbreaking and hilarious journey inside the life and mind of an American comic genius, trying to unravel the mystery of how a man repeatedly climbed out from the depths of despair to become a world-class comedian.

Murder For Two

Sun, Feb 1
The Old Globe Theater
San Diego
The Old Globe today announced the full cast and creative team for Murder for Two, with book and music by Joe Kinosian and book and lyrics by Kellen Blair. Globe veteran Scott Schwartz (A Room with a View at the Globe, The Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse) returns to direct Blair and Kinosianís Off Broadway hit, a vaudevillian mystery musical with an energetic two-man cast. Great American novelist Arthur Whitney has been murdered at his own birthday party, and his killer could be any one of the guests. But this is no ordinary murder mystery. The entire world of this hilarious musical is brought to life by two incredible performers: one plays the detective, the other plays all 10 suspects, and both play the piano! Murder for Two is an irrepressibly wacky tour-de-force musical that NewYork1 dubbed ďa must-see 90-minute jolt of caffeinated creativity!Ē

C.S. Lewis On Stage

Sun, Feb 1
Lambs Players Theatre
Award-winning actor Tom Key in a fascinating look into the wit, wisdom and work of one of the 20th Century's most engaging thinkiners and hugely popular writers.

Artist in Residence, Julie Kreimer

Sun, Feb 1
Lux Art Institute
Landscapes and abstractions seamlessly relate in Julian Kreimer's oil paintings as he explores the terrain between the two. Lush color combinations applied in quick, fluid strokes are built into dense layers to create windows int Kreimer's envionments both recognizable and contemplative.

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