Video Games For Good is a multi-artist collaboration that focusses on the positive outcomes of video games be they strengthened family bonds, stress relief and escapism, new friendships or simple nostalgia. The project also aims to tackle negative stereotypes that video games are only enjoyed by certain types of people or that the hobby only has detrimental effects.
I invited artists to submit artwork that answers the question:
"How have video games positively impacted your life or the lives of others?"
The results were a joy to see, and I'm so proud to gather all these precious memories, funny stories and beautiful illustrations into one handy collection!
The culmination of the VGFG project (and reason for this Kickstarter) will be a 36 page full colour A5 paperback book that includes incredible digital and traditional paintings, illustrations and comics all dripping with pure gaming joy!
Scenes from a variety of classic retro favourites are illustrated in the book such as Micro Machines, Earthbound and Doom. Long-running game series including Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon also feature, as their impact in the artists' lives is revealed.
But that's enough of me describing the book with mere words; let's take some peeks at the stories inside!
First up we have Mark Brady, who takes a rebellious approach to the book's theme, suggesting that video games really are to blame for so many problems...
Jay's comic spans several years as he and his brother grow up playing video games together from Super Nintendo to a pretty cool looking future console! One panel touches upon the feeling of togetherness online play provides even when you're cities or even countries apart from your friends and family.
Neil Slorance reflects on his childhood encounter with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in his sweet comic, and how the game helped him gain confidence to make and bond with lifelong friends. Awww!
Gemma Ingram's comic is a relatable one if you've ever felt like your friends, family or colleagues just won't understand how much enjoyment gaming provides, and muses on the incredible experiences to be had in exploring vast landscapes, creating alternate personas and building whole worlds...all in the palm of your hand.
Looks pretty neat, right? And there's lots more where that came from, all thanks to this talented bunch of geeky grafters!
15 creatives have worked tirelessly using the medium of their choice to express their love of gaming and reflect fondly on their experiences. Their artistic styles are diverse, but their position is thus: video games have made a positive impact on their lives. The end result is an eclectic collection of heartwarming, humorous and honest insights into the minds of some really decent folk who just bloody love playing games.
Here's the full list of contributors (go on, check out their other stuff!):
David B. Cooper, Steven Ingram, Sophie Rowan, Gemma Ingram, Jamie Knight, Mark Brady, Claire Hubbard (that's me), Gonéra Valentin, Zach Whitbread, Jay Sharp, Jenni Griffiths, Neil Slorance, Jazmine Phillips, Richard Rudge and Stephen Goodall.
These guys all play video games, and now they're artists! Doesn't get much better than that, folks.
I love video games. I love reading about video games, I love playing video games, I love talking about video games, and I especially love drawing video games. I created this project because I just got a little bit sick of hearing that they weren't good for me...and that they weren't FOR me. I wanted to combat all the negativity I was hearing, seeing and reading by CREATING. So...yeah, I'm passionate about the subject.
But how do you know I'll see this through and you'll end up with a lovely, well designed book, safely packaged and arriving at your doorstep within a reasonable amount of time?
I've personally laid it all out nicely, added a few graphics and words, and designed the covers with my very own eyes, brain and right hand.
Although this is my first self-initiated curated project, I reckon I've got a good eye for good storytelling and accompanying visuals. I've been graphically designing for a good few years now, which means I must be quite good at collecting text and images into one neat little document. I've self-published my own comic before, and I operate an Etsy shop which earns me excellent reviews for product quality, communication and delivery times!
The rewards are plentiful and varied!
You can donate £1 just to help fund the project, and £5 will get you a physical copy of Video Games For Good. If you fancy something extra, there are several artist-specific reward tiers to choose from, offering a variety of goodies to accompany your copy of Video Games For Good!
The Cooper Bundle will get you a physical copy of Video Games For Good and David B. Cooper's "A Few Comics About Vidja Games", which is exactly as it says on the tin - a short collection of comics about vidjagames! Come see Crash Bandicoot, Metal Gear Solid, Halo and more as you've never seen them before!
The Gemma Bundle includes a copy of Video Games For Good and a copy of Gemma's fan zine "PokeVengers", an 8 page booklet of watercolour illustrations of the Avengers re-imagined as Pokemon!
The Zuzanna Bundle will get you a copy of Video Games For Good and a copy of Zuzanna's 8-page silent comic "Fiendskap", which follows the life cycle of a fantasy jungle and animals that live in it!
The Mark Bundle includes a copy of Video Games For Good as well a numbered A5 'Mind of...' print of your choice! Choose between Metal Sonic, Waluigi or Karin Kanzuki.
The Claire Bundle will get you a physical copy of Video Games For Good and my first comic "The Cats That Stared", an all-ages account of a mysterious feline invasion ...
The Jenni Bundle: Choose this one for a copy of Video Games For Good AND four delightfully illustrated stickers to stick on your 3DS/laptop/notebook/anything you like!
The Jazmine Bundle: Choose this one for a copy of Video Games For Good AND two super cute A4 illustrated prints of your choice! Choose any two between Kirby, Yoshi, Pokemon and Animal Crossing (featured in the book)! I'll ask you for your choices after the campaign ends, so you've got some time to decide!
The Richard Bundle includes a physical copy of Video Games For Good and a copy of "An Unwritten Adventure", a fantasy adventure told with little more than a single sentence. A silent comic that tells story of mourning, loss, and finding a new path in life, but with the overall intention of giving the reader ultimate interpretation of the overall story.
The Zachary Bundle is one for fans of Earthbound - it includes a copy of Video Games For Good plus a print of Zachary's illustration of the terrifying end-of-game boss battle with Giygas.
The Steven Bundle includes a copy of Video Games For Good as well as a copy of "The Saddest Whale & Other Stories", a collection of short stories, mainly about sad things! Includes the stories "The Saddest Whale", "William", "Volcano" and others.
The Big Boss Bundle includes all of the above - that's a lot of good stuff!
Risks and challenges
As the project curator, it has definitely been more much more of a struggle than I had initially anticipated to pull it all together. I've had to prioritise other projects (as well as moving house/cities/jobs) and could really only work on it whenever I had some spare time (even sacrificing precious gaming time!) So Video Games For Good has taken a good couple of years to get to where it is now...
The great news is that most of the work is now already done! More than a dozen talented illustrators, artists and comic creators have put pen to paper (or graphics tablet) over the past year to make Video Games For Good the wonderful collection of stories that it is today, and I could not be more grateful.
The only thing left to do now is get the books printed! If there are any challenges at all, it'll be making sure the printing process goes smoothly, collecting the rewards (prints, comics, stickers etc) from the respective artists, and organising the packing and posting of parcels for all you lovely backers! Though I do that all the time for my Etsy shop so I consider myself quite experienced in that field already...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)