Game Gurus Finally Get Some Screen Time in Documentary Interviews

Unlike actors and directors in Hollywood, game makers usually fly under the radar.

Even though videogames are becoming one of America’s biggest pastimes, and compete alongside movies and TV for our free time, game creators don’t exactly get hounded by the paparazzi.

A new project called Critical Path is trying to change that by raising the profiles of some of the videogame industry’s most influential designers.

After two years of filming, Critical Path is launching an online archive of video interviews with the industry’s superstars, including Richard Hilleman (pictured right), the producer of Madden and Tiger Woods Golf; Will Wright, a game designer for The Sims and Spore; and Todd Howard, a game director for The Elder Scrolls series.

Think of it as akin to “Inside the Actors Studio,” but instead of Dave Chappelle or Billy Crystal opining about their profession, it’s game leaders who are chatting about the art, philosophy, politics and psychology of videogames. Like the James Lipton-hosted show, the interviews don’t include any clips of the actual work, but instead keep the focus on the people and what they say.

There have been several efforts recently to help recognize how videogames have contributed to pop culture and to present the games as something larger, including an exhibit called “The Art of Video Games” at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum.

The Critical Path site was created by Los Angeles-based Artifact, which specializes in documentary films. Recent credits include “Behind the Wall: The Making of Skyrim” for Bethesda Softworks, and the HBO documentary feature “Koran By Heart.” The studio hopes to turn the dozens of clips it has archived into a documentary film, once it gets the funding.

Here’s the trailer for the project:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus