PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be available November 2016! Advance Copies will be for sale at CANZINE 2016! Let's Meet The Contributors...
1) Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?
I have, it was on an arcade machine in a Greyhound station in B.C. I didn’t get very far. Was strange to be the only active human being in a sad building with quiet people just sitting or standing. I’m sure that affected my score. But I never really went to arcades as a kid since they were sketchy, so I didn't have that much exposure to it.
2) Do you/Did you play other video games?
I always, always used to play video games - NES, Super NES, N64, Playstation. As a kid in the 90’s it was mandatory. Oh, you played Mortal Kombat with blood and you're only in Grade 4? That's like smoking and drinking before anyone else - it wasn't me. And I won’t forget how my parents surprised me with a Super NES in our car when they picked me up one day after school. Or how my mom played Super Mario 3 with me to help me through Desert Land.
My favourite games were mostly the staples - Super Mario, Duck Hunt, TMNT: Turtles In Time, Donkey Kong, Maximum Carnage (based on Spider-Man, not really violent), Actraiser, Starfox, Goldeneye, Turok, F-Zero X, Ridge Racer Type 4, FFVII/VIII, Metal Gear Solid, Tekken III, Civilization II, Einhänder…the list could go on.
3) If so, what do you/did you find most appealing about video games?
I guess the most appealing thing about video games for me was being constantly challenged and seeing how a game/story unfolded, and being able to explore entire new worlds. The visuals as well…32-bit, 64-bit, 30 fps, 60 fps, important stuff. Reading EGM.
4) What did you find most frustrating?
Starting over again.
5) If you used to play video games and don't anymore, why did you stop?
I haven’t played video games for about nine years now. That’s also the time when I stopped watching TV. I realized that I needed my time to focus on other things, and that I had my fun. I needed to learn and produce, and as enjoyable as video games are, they were eating my time.
Plus maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like they started getting even bigger, taking up more time, and becoming more social. I almost always played video games alone. I would definitely get back into it if I marry a woman who loves playing them, though. That’s the only way.
6) What video game do you wish existed?
A video game that makes it fun to learn about finances, investments, real estate, etc. would be good to see. Because no one’s learning that in school, or at least I didn’t. Which is a goddamn travesty. Where do you learn about the things that matter? But then it would fall into the “edutainment” category, which is difficult - how can video games make learning fun? In that sense it’s like poetry: how can we reach people with this difficult medium?
7) What's better: Original 80s or Retro 80s? And why?
I was born in Sept.,1985 so I barely recall the 80’s, and I’ve only seen snippets of retro 80’s. Maybe original because of Sade’s Stronger Than Pride album (’88). And I don’t think people have leapt on that album as a retro symbol. Then again, there was a lot of blatant anti-Arabism in the 80’s, so maybe retro 80’s since being retro isn’t supposed to carry the narrow-mindedness of previous generations, or at least I’d like to think so.
8) What about Noir as a genre appeals to you?
Noir has always appealed to me because it’s a genre that nothing else can really touch in terms of sheer aesthetics and style. It has a timeless style all its own, where it’s accepted to be moody and dark without being violent, being quiet and sensual, a constant interplay of low light and heavy shadow.
9) What's your favorite work of Noir? (Book, Comic, Movie...)
As much as I love Noir, it’s rare to find a work of art that corresponds directly to my view of it. I've tried; I owned a pack of Noir movies from the 40’s and 50’s but they weren’t as dark as I wanted them to be. Sunny days shouldn't be in Noir films. And Orson Welles was pretending he’s possessed or something, it was weird. I like it when it doesn’t take itself too seriously, like Pac’n Heat. There’s an album called Sunset Mission by Bohren & Der Club of Gore that’s quintessential noir music. I rarely listen to it, but it's my favourite. Either that or L.A. Confidential, which I own.
10) What are you reading these days?
I’m reading more Canadian poets - just bought The Stone-Mason’s Notebook by Carmelo Militano. Also The Politics of Knives by Jonathan Ball, Ten Thousand Miles Between Us by Rocco de Giacomo, rereading Sumptuary Laws by Nyla Matuk. A book on reflexology. I want to read Palookaville.
11) What else are you working on now?
I started a 100%-Canadian made clothing company called Train Yards Collections. Isn’t that funny, a poet starting a clothing brand. I’ve completed a play that I want to submit to the University of Manitoba, toying with another new play that I’d like to submit to the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and I’ve almost completed a new poetry chapbook.