Having now chatted to a lot of people about the whole games/violence/Germany issue, I'm quite horrified at the way that games seem to be treated in that country. The occasional hysteria in the UK and US is nothing to the level of censorship that seems to be exerted by the government and the (left-wing, apparently, not right-wing) press when it comes to games. For a supposedly liberal country, it's quite terrifying, and I wish the games players and developers of Germany all the best luck in standing up to, subverting and eventually overturning a ridiculous and offensive set of attitudes toward gameplay.
I've not said this before, and I should have: I'm very impressed that the GC, in the form of Karin Wehn and director Ms. Angela Schierholz, agreed to let us show BloodSpell on the press day. They *were* taking a risk in letting me show the film- I believe it paid off, but I'm impressed with them for taking it. I hope that some day such things aren't a problem in Germany any more.
As I said before, I'm also very grateful to all the sites that picked up on the censorship story. I believe very strongly in fighting censorship and subversion of free speech, and I can see our situation struck a nerve with a lot of people. Sites that helped get the word out included BoingBoing, Greg Costikyan, Blue's News, 3D Filmmaker, Yigg.de, Xirdalium, Digg, Machinima Premiere (oddly, Machinima.com didn't report), Sorcerer's Place, and many more. Thanks to all of you.
But enough about that. Like I said, the GC was fantastic, and huge congratulations to everyone involved (sadly I don't have their names here or I'd list them all out - can anyone mail me a contributor list?). The Machinima booth, right on the show floor next to Microsoft, is huge, featuring both a screening room with comfortable matresses and headphones, screening some of the greatest Machinima films, and also a lecture/workshop area, where yesterday we had 14 people attenting Klaus and Friederich's workshop on Machinima production.
Throughout the day, the screening room was at least half-full. Apparently it's going to get much busier - I wouldn't be surprised if the booth has had over a thousand visitors by Sunday.
In other news, my award for the most impressive Machinima potential in an upcoming game goes, hands down, to Medieval: Total War 2. This game just looks stunning - we're really talking Lord of the Rings-scale battles here, with individually-animated, distinct characters, fantastic fighting animation (I'd be happy to close right in on the action) and HUGE scale. Want to do a historical or fantasy film? Run, do not walk, to aquire a copy of Medieval Total War 2 when it's released.
Leipzig - it was great. Now, back to work on Episode 8...