Not a happy bunny, A Video Games Live tale!

I thought for a brief moment in time that we had been accepted.  I believed that all of the stigma attached to gamers was on the wane.  I truly was under the impression that we could walk down the street without being sneered at!

I WAS WRONG!

No favours here

Last Thursday, Video Games Live came to the wonderful city of Glasgow, a vibrant place that celebrates life of all cultures and tolerates even the most audacious of events, unless of course it is in relation to video games.  I must confess, had Dave not blogged about VGL I wouldn’t have known anything about it, I saw a poster of a Space Invader under a bridge somewhere but didn’t really take it in.  All last week I scoured through the local press looking for a small article about it, but it wasn’t to be, there wasn’t even a mention in the gig guides.  However about two thousand gamers managed to find out about it and all had a wonderful evening, including the woman sat next to me who was really into games, but was disappointed that they didn’t do the music from Bubble Bobble!  A brief illustration of the attitude towards the whole thing was summed up ever so eloquently by an old man I met in the foyer before the concert.  Picture this, me walking about with my newly acquired VGL t-shirt, but smart of appearance-old grey haired man, cardie, beige slacks, brown loafers.

Old Git

“Good evening,” I said, “Nice night.”

“Aye,” replies old man, “Is this the kids thing in here tonight?”

The world went into bullet time, I could hear the death knoll sounding! KIDS THING!  I promptly told him it wasn’t just for kids it was for everyone that cared to listen, but he didn’t care, he just wanted to set us back a few decades.  And sadly that is an attitude that is still prevalent in society, as much as the Wii has brought gaming to the masses it is still seen by many as a kids thing.

But wait, there’s more.  Over the weekend I trawled through most of the popular local press ( local to Glasgow) and there was not one mention anywhere of the concert.  No reviews, interviews, nothing such a great shame.  Yes, I play games, but I also listen to music and I am not bigoted to see that you didn’t need to like games to like what was on offer at VGL.  I truly believe that your average follower of the RSNO would have enjoyed it as much as I did, but sadly attitudes need to change lots until that happens.  Still though, there is more.  Proudly wearing my VGL t-shirt I was out and about over the weekend in no less than six games shops, ranging from independents to the big corporations.  You know that only one person clocked my t-shirt and was at the gig, no one else knew about it, but all I asked would have went to it.  So, what is to blame?  Is it society and their attitudes towards us?  Is it the marketing department of VGL?  Who knows, but I had a blast and should they ever darken the doorstep of Glasgow again I’ll be there!  I might even consider Edinburgh but lets not jump the gun now!!

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9 responses to “Not a happy bunny, A Video Games Live tale!”

  1. ChiefCool avatar
    ChiefCool

    I was there! It was very, very awesome and me and my friend got interviewed by Kirsten from this very wesbite! W00t!

    But I do agree that there was almost nothing said about it beforehand or afterwards which is a shame. Still, the hall was packed so at least they had a decent sized audience to play to! Oh and Castlevania as an encore was a surreal, unexpected yet inspired choice!

  2. Laura avatar
    Laura

    It’s as if I have a double life, I feel frowned upon by more than a few people in my life for being a gamer. I don’t hide it but I don’t really show my passion for it. I live in a teeny tiny Welsh village I could get burned at the stake or something!!!

    🙂

  3. Dave avatar
    Dave

    I reckon next year will be punted way more dude, but yeah that’s a bit guff that few publications carried the story 🙁

    It’s definitely newsworthy though. I had a nightmare selling it into folk and in the end got it in a mag and a paper but certainly the latter was a bloody chore to convince them to do it. I guess stuff like Big Brother is way more imporant and cluturally rich entertainment.

    Feel like I’m hitting my head off a brick wall at times 🙁

  4. John avatar
    John

    Yeah, it was a fantastic night. Edinburgh might be a push though 😛

  5. RSNO avatar
    RSNO

    Oh dear! That’s wiped the smile off my smug face (is there a smiley for that?)

    From the orchestra’s point of view, we were really chuffed with the gig and were blown away by the support from the gaming community – let me tell you, I’ve never seen an audience (or reaction) like that in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

    But it is disappointing to read that we might not have reached everyone we could/should have. I thought we’d done a decent job of punting the concert round Scotland. We totally blew our promo budget on national TV, radio and newspaper advertising, had flyers, postcards and street posters and had info on blogs and gaming sites all over the place.

    We did go round all the games shops in the city with postcards and posters and it was my understanding that they all knew about it??? Then, at the last minute we went round them all again with actors dressed as Sonic et al…. we really bust a gut on this one.

    We are a little ol’ orchestra and we don’t do this kind of thing very often! So we value your thoughts on how we might promote this better, or whether we should do something like this again. What do you think?

    Glad you all had a good night anyway. I’m not a gamer (well not since the days of Out Run… although some of the Mario Cart scenes did spark some recognition in the back of my mind so I must have played this in the dim and distant past – when was it out?) but I thought the event was incredible (sure I’m biased but I’m telling the truth) and I can’t get that damn Metal Gear Solid tune out my head now.

    OK, got to go – just spilt soup on my beige slacks 😉 Thanks for coming to the gig and for talking about the show.

    David
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra

    PS there were previews in the List, Scotsman, Herald Evening Times, The Skinny, a massive piece in the Sunday Herald, the Metro and so on.

    PPS There were 5-STAR reviews in the Herald and the Scotsman – but don’t read them if you don’t want to feel patronised even further! You can find them online.

    PPPS About the old “kids thing” guy – your story sounds really bad but I *think* that it might have been something to do with the other concert that was happening in another part of the hall. The Glasgow Schools Orchestra were playing and he was probably someone’s old grandpa, asking you where “the kids thing”, i.e. the school concert, was. I dunno, just a theory.

  6. Dave avatar
    Dave

    Hi David, I did the List Skinny and Scotsman previews, whatcha think? 🙂

    As for selling previews in elsewhere, a lot of folk simply didn’t want to know.

    It was even worse for reviews, I don’t know why they were so reluctant to take them 🙁

    Game-related stories in Scotland are a hard sell I find, many editor’s still see them as a play-thing and nothing more, which sucks.

    Thanks again for a truly amazing night, it kicked ass!

    Dave 🙂

  7. Dave avatar
    Dave

    I think I should explain when I say ‘a lot of folk simply didn’t want to know’ I mean editors, not us avid game fans 🙂

  8. Martin avatar

    RSNO, thanks for your words, I don’t think it was your fault at all, it sounds like you did more than you could in the promotions. I honestly think that we are still under the sad geeky banner and hence don’t quite get the recognition we deserve.
    It’s immensely satisfying to know that there are gamers in the orchestra, most don’t look it but….I did see the orchestra turning round to watch the blindfold piano guys’ talent, he was amazing.
    Of course you should do this again, maybe you could even organise it without the VGL monicker, I know there are a great many of us Ready-uppers who would be only too willing to help out-for a cut from the door of course! Just kidding! Thank you all for a great night and I know i speak collectively for us all in saying that we all wish to be back agin soon.
    Martin

  9. Glen Wilder avatar
    Glen Wilder

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