By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Celebrity hosts Sean Astin, Tom Arnold, Matt Walsh, Penn Jillette, Michael Rooker, Zelda Williams, Alison Haislip and Meghan Camarena will look deep into the world of video games in an eight-part documentary Unlocked: The World of Games, Revealed. This series will be available online through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Steam starting December 15th and it is currently available for preorder.
“The goal in producing a series like ‘Unlocked’ is to educate and entertain the audience on all these fascinating topics within the world of gaming all with a cast of curious correspondents that the audience is familiar with,” said series director Jeremy Snead.
From Astin’s exploration of game design schools and the world of ‘video game journalism’ to Arnold’s journey into the past, present and future of games, the series dives into dozens of topics within the world of gaming and features a who’s who of game industry heavy hitters. Walsh covers non-traditional areas by meeting with doctors and field experts to understand the psychology of gaming, while magician Penn Jillette dives into the world of modern game development. Other series hosts include Rooker and his look into the fascinating world of gaming motion capture (mo-cap) technology, Williams investigating hospitals’ use of games as therapy and rehabilitation, Haislip’s behind the scenes at Nintendo, and YouTube star “Strawburry 17” exploring the global explosion of competitive (video) gaming better known as eSports.
The list of celebrity names does not end here. William Shatner, Tony Hawk, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes also lend their time talking about the influence video-games has upon an entire entertainment industry, and even names from the industry itself are included. It’s a safe bet that Lord British (Richard Garriott) will be mentioned in this documentary because Ultima IV was a groundbreaking role-playing game for its time. Guaranteed is Nolan Bushnell, co-founder of Atari. Even this year’s explosion of virtual reality games will be explored.
Past attempts at looking at the video-game industry included an episode of Modern Marvels which spent roughly 45 minutes examining it. But to feature a full-length exploration can only be summed up by the following:
“Jeremy’s determination and ability to explain the world of gaming through the documentary medium in such a thorough yet entertaining way is pretty incredible,” said Executive Producer Sean Astin about ‘Unlocked’ director, Jeremy Snead.
“Intellectually stimulating, and way more interesting than I expected. Fun, and I learned a lot,” said host Tom Arnold of his journey into gaming in Unlocked.