Yes, it's that time of year when offices have closed up the doors and everybody heads to the pub/sofa for a week of blissful and excessive drinking, eating and merriment.
For SPOnG it?s a time when we can truly take some much-needed time out to consider the true meaning of Christmas. Then after a couple of minutes of wondering what the flip this whole Jesus-trick is all about, we get down to the serious business of pulling out the best games of the year from the teeming pile in the corner and spending some quality time staring at a different screen for the week.
We won?t bore you with our ?games of the year? as everybody else seems to do. You probably already know what they are. Zelda
, Shadow of?
, blah blah blah. And equally, you probably don?t really care, as you know your own games of the year and you?ll have nobody else tell you otherwise.
It?s been a glorious year for gaming. We decided to go out there (well, send some emails) to the great and the good of the UK?s videogame industry and poll them on what they thought of 2006, what they?ll be doing on Jesus? birthday and what they are looking forward to in the Year of Not Our Lord 2007.
We?ll be bringing you answers from both the elderly statesmen of the UK games industry (will Garry Williams please stand up!) as well as some of the younger whipper snappers and dashing, thrusting young hopefuls (who, of course, secretly we hate as they are younger and more successful than we are), so keep checking back over the coming days to see who has what to say on the current state of play.
First up, a bloke from Sega, a bloke from MCV and a bloke from Scotland?(pictured).SPOnG: What are your five (gaming and non-gaming) highlights from 2006?Stuart Dinsey, Publisher, MCV/Intent Media
Brian Baglow, Indoctrimat PR
- Turning 40th and the re-formation of my punk band Eastside Jimmy
- The release of an Eastside Jimmy 'best of' CD
- The launch of the official website www.eastsidejimmy.co.uk>
- Getting the fastest car I've ever owned.
- Having my mid-life crisis bang on schedule
Stefan McGarry, PR Manager, Sega UK
- The Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival - it just keeps getting better and better.
- Demonstrating Realtime Worlds' 'Crackdown' at the EIEF - Dave's done it again. This is a seriously good game.
- The recognition of casual, mobile and online games as part of the overall industry. They're 'real' games too
- Launching www.scottishgames.biz for a vibrant and healthy Scottish games industry. We ARE the new Japan.
- Having to work with Tera Patrick on behalf of a client (non gaming). Very nice lady. Gives good quote.
SPOnG: Five gaming and non-gaming lowlights from 2006? Stuart Dinsey
- Raising nearly £800 for Children In Need in November after betting with colleagues on review scores and having to shave my head when I lost
- Going to TGS for the first time
- Getting into MCV's 30 under 30, especially as I'm 30 next year :(
- Working on the PR campaign for Medieval II: Total War
- Finally getting hold of Yoshi's Island DS, the sequel to one of my favourite games...
- Turning 40
- Realising that Eastside Jimmy are still as a crap as they always were
- Realising that no one will buy the Eastside Jimmy CD
- Realising that the Eastside Jimmy website is just terrible
- Realising I can only get fatter. But cannot get much balder.
- The death of E3. Forget the herds of fatboys, it was FUN and damn useful (and you got to go to LA legitimately...)
- Console wars - can't we all at least pretend we get along? This bickering and sniping is making us look bad in front of the other media...
- The general pissing on gaming's chips by the moral majority. They are NOT getting more violent. Now shut up.
- The failure of the mobile gaming world to prove it's the next big area for innovation and interesting things
- The PSP
SPOnG: Five things you're either looking forward to in 2007 or would like to see?Stuart Dinsey
- Finding out about the changing format of E3, and wishing I made more of an effort to enjoy it more in the past
- Can't not mention the PlayStation 3 slippage, if only for planning reasons
- When the games division of Highbury got sold, and lots of journalist friends moved out of the industry
- Going through three extremely painful root canal sessions, only to be told it didn't work and I'll probably lose the tooth anyway
- Not managing to get a Wii yet
- San Francisco (GDC0)
- Brighton (Develop Conference)
- Santa Monica (E3)
- Monte Carlo (MEM)
- Hertford (new Intent Media HQ)
- EIEF 2007 (should be a good one...)
- Winning a BAFTA (or nicking one from someone else if needs be)
- More porn starlets (because they're porn starlets)
- Truckloads of money (for services to the games industry)
- Metroid for the Wii
SPOnG: What two gifts would you most like to see in your Xmas stocking next Monday morning?Stuart Dinsey
- My stag do
- Working on Virtua Fighter 5
- Getting my hands on a PS3
- Getting my hands on a Wii
- Getting my hands on a DS lite
- A Wii with extra controllers
- A box at Stamford Bridge
Stefan McGarry, PR Manager, Sega UKSPOnG: What do you plan to be doing at 4pm on Xmas day this year?Stuart Dinsey
- GP2X - Open source and home brew. What a handheld should aspire to...
- A new laptop. One of the big Alienware buggers would be lovely. Dual-booting Vista (gaming) and Ubuntu (useful stuff) with tons of memory, a processor that can strip paint and a screen so large, crisp and sharp that it makes men weep.
- Playing Wii with my kids!
- Guitar Hero II and snowballs.