Friday, December 23, 2011

23 days to 40

Some things I've done that you probably haven't. Not to gloat, but simply to illustrate the uniqueness of life...
  • Played guitar on the soundtrack for the PC point-and-click adventure Normality by Gremlin Interactive.
  • Tested whether playing Quake was the most exciting thing imaginable, and whether the quote "it's better than sex" was an appropriate description. Article was for long-forgotten UK magazine, Escape.
  • Bungee jumped for the above article.
  • Had sex for the above article.
  • Had to masturbate in a room while men in lab coats observed in order to calibrate equipment for above article.
  • Appeared on the Star Wars Episode One DVD talking about the LucasArts game Starfighter.
  • Played in a band whose demo was number three on a radio station playlist. In Belgium.
  • Worked on the first (and only) weekly videogames magazine in the UK, called Games-X.
  • Had my first game review published when I was 14 in a UK Atari magazine called Page 6, which was later renamed New Atari User. The game was Winter Games on the Atari ST by Epyx.
  • Name-drop alert: Spent a lengthy lunch date with Mark Hamill (when he was promoting Wing Commander 3) and talked about his fascination with pornography.
  • Perhaps foolishly turned down a job on Edge magazine in 1994.
  • Had the keyboard player from Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne and (now) Deep Purple play at my first wedding.
  • Reviewed games on the UK TV show "GamesMaster."
  • Rode drunk on a golf cart with "father of the PlayStation" Ken Kuturagi.
  • Similarly rode drunk on a golf cart playing "Starksky & Hutch" with Ubisoft president Laurent Detoc. Of note: it's difficult to get any air with a golf cart.
  • Interviewed Lost/Star Trek/Prometheus/Cowboys & Aliens writer/producer Damon Lindelof live on-stage in front of 400 people.
  • Have run a whole bunch of different magazines over the past (gulp) 15 years - many of which you'll have probably never heard of: Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, Super Control, PC Player, Megatech, Sega Zone, and PC Zone in the UK before drifting stateside to run EGM and then later OPM, and finally GamePro.
  • Related to the above, I'm the only editor-in-chief to have run both EGM and GamePro.
  • Started my own company and helped define a sector of media that previously didn't really exist; games media for kids and families.
  • Raised over $2 million to start that business.
  • Had my photo on the front page of the Business section of the LA Times.
  • Did an eight-minute live segment on the Today Show about videogames for kids and families.
  • Got hugged by Meredith Viera.
  • Have also been on both Good Morning America and The Early Show along with a whole bunch of other news shows over the years.
  • Wrote the foreword to a book about iPhone games called "Buttonless."

2 comments:

Jeff said...

I used to direct tons of my fellow parents to What They Play. That site was great. Too bad IGN shut it down. Any thoughts to share on that?

John Davison said...

IGN's direction at the time was that it wanted to cover all aspects and demographics associated with games. Their goal was to expand out from the "core" and tackle casual, social, female, and family markets thanks to the success of the Wii, mobile and social games. More recently however, their strategy changed quite dramatically and the brand is very much focused on men aged 18-34, and is now expanding out from games but with subjects that are still demographically appropriate. Recently they launch IGN Tech, and they've been expanding their movies and comic book coverage so they can surround young guys' culture from as many angles as possible. In that environment, What They Play was no longer a fit, so after moving resources away from it, they eventually closed it.
It was a shame, but I understand the business reasons for it happening. In hindsight, I wish they'd have given Ira and I a heads up before it happened, because we might have wanted to take it back and continue to run it as a side-project.