Gamers Heart Japan: Earthquake and tsunami relief video

This morning I stumbled upon the Gamers Heart Japan project (via Joystiq) and watched the following production put together by Electric Playground. This is a charity project with a simple, honest and memorable message, which encourages the public to donate to the Red Cross‘ earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan. It certainly worked for me.

The piece asks video game journalists, developers and industry representatives to describe why the Japanese gaming industry is important to them. Throughout the hour these gaming celebs give recognition to some of their favourite classic games such as Super Metroid, Street Fighter II, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. This is coupled with their experiences in Japan and general love for the food, architecture and friendly people.

There are heaps of familiar faces including Peter Molyneux from Lionhead Studios, Geoff Keighley from GameTrailersTV and  Brian Ashcraft from If you stay up to date with video game journalism, you’re guaranteed to know at least a half dozen of the people on camera here. It’s a shame that so many outline the same obvious classics (Mario 64, Final Fantasy VII, etc) but there are also a few unexpected mentions, including  Katamari Damacy, No More Heroes and Parappa the Rapper.

(Aside: If I’d had the chance, I would’ve given my kudos to Tatsuya Kando for his work on The World Ends With You, Parasite Eve and the original Kingdom Hearts.)

I can’t recommend watching this enough. Even if you just have it running in the background whilst you’re at work or at home, it’s a lovely little video with great intentions. I love Japanese video games and hope that everyone does their bit for the relief effort.


Kotowari Competition: Black Materia Winner!

Today I received a package from Kotowari, featuring a signed Black Materia record and a couple of extra goodies. It was a pleasant surprise to win the competition – especially as it was shipped over from the US!

This is what I got inside, a lovely little note and a couple of tasty treats. All very appreciated! (Jetsetnick has a bad sweet tooth.)

Below is a signed copy of the album courtesy of Mega Ran and Lost Perception. For those that don’t know, Black Materia: Final Fantasy VII is a hip hop album that remixes the original soundtrack with a contemporary set of beats, effects and lyrics. It’s a whole new take on the epic story and is certainly worth checking out if you’ve played the JRPG.

The competition was used to celebrate the three year anniversary of Kotowari. He’s a great blogger and I would recommend his site to anyone with an interest in JRPGs or Western RPGs. Here’s to your future success – thanks for the prize!

(Aside: Also a big thank you to Mega Ran and Lost Perception for making the album! You can listen to it online here.)