”It's about Tetris dreams, Street Fighter thumb, Hyrule scents and pure gaming fun!”
The video game and gaming culture in all its diverse forms seeks to be celebrated in a new printed publication this year, thanks to Matthew Kenyon and Emma Wilcock of Game Paused and an already impressive number of Kickstarter backers and contributors who all share one thing in common – a love of all things video games.
“Video games have inspired not only my professional life but my personal life” says Matthew when talking about the Every Day is Play Kickstarter project. “Certain things I see in games make it into my work but I didn’t want the book to be about me as a graphic designer; it should be about how everybody is inspired and provide a platform for others to express themselves.”
Showcasing the high-quality works of designers, coders, musicians, artists, writers and developers that have taken inspiration from video games, Every Day is Play will feature contributions from the filmmakers of Indie Game the Movie, pixel artist Eboy, gaming apparel geniuses Insert Coin and legendary developers like Blitz Game Studios’ Dizzy creator Andrew Oliver as well as BAFTA winning indie game designer Mike Bithell to mention but a few. Impressive as the industry names might be, Matthew is also a passionate advocate of creative partnerships and insists that Every Day is Play should be a truly collaborative process that connects creatives from all fields and disciplines, including work from fans and gamers. “It involves everybody” says Matthew with his calm yet captivating Yorkshire accent. “Every creative style, every joypad and every high-score; It's about the fans who create work inspired by games as much as it is the artists who create the games. It's about trying something new, explaining an experience in a different way or taking a reference and making it memorable.”
An active promoter of video game culture, combining games and art through various projects, products and platforms with his own design company Game Paused, as part of this project, he is inviting anyone who would like to contribute and have their work featured in the book, (or know of others that would be suitable) to submit to the book before Monday 2nd September 2013. “We are trying to do things with every medium, not just make a very pretty book with game art, graphics, and illustration. I want the book to be more a document of how gaming permeates into other activities and creative practice. Showcasing submitted work alongside industry names and organisations makes this a true celebration of what gaming means to anyone who engages with it.”
It’s a refreshing and tempting call to action but what of Matthew’s own influences? “Games with different art styles and musical differences are the games I play most these days, like Limbo, Braid, or Runner. I’m still a big Nintendo fan, and I have 3 daughters who play games too (I must have influenced them) so we do enjoy Animal Crossing and a spot of Mario Kart. I also play a lot of Halo with my friends, so my gaming preferences do vary. Film wise, I love small, obscure films with a touch of honesty. Films like Requiem for a Dream, Drive or The Moon which have you questioning things about life after you’ve watched them and leave you feeling like a different person. I also (just like games) like to really escape at times, so fantasy/sci-fi is a big thing for me. Game of Thrones is the only TV entertainment I've watched in years” he confides!
The final version of Every Day is Play is sure to be an amazing, eclectic collection of features and interviews covering everything from fan art, game modifications, graphic design, paint, ink, sculpture, code, music, advertising, rom-hacks, speed runs, advertising, photography - the possibilities are endless. All will be combined to create a significant, aesthetically stunning document that will reflect today’s gaming culture, uniting artists and gamers from around the globe. “I’d like the book to be in gamers hands and for them to recognise the references, the games and inspirations, but for it ultimately to put a smile on their faces and be proud of this thing that we all do together" ends Matthew with a smile.
Matthew and Emma plan to self-publish the book and have taken to Kickstarter to cover the costs. With over two weeks left, they are almost halfway towards their £26,000 goal. To back the project, submit work or to simply find out more about this celebration of gaming, visit their funding page before 1st September.