By Jared Newman | Monday, October 5, 2009 at 12:21 pm
Say what you will about Jimmy Fallon’s talk show hosting talent, but the former Saturday Night Live star and Conan O’Brien replacement has won a place in my heart for celebrating, and not demonizing, video games.
On Friday, Fallon hosted Tim Schafer, the game designer behind Brutal Legend. While not the biggest holiday game release — that honor falls to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 — Brutal Legend’s comedic tale of demon-slaying in a land of heavy metal, paired with the voice acting of Jack Black, has the hallmarks of any blockbuster, regardless of medium.
So it was refreshing to hear Fallon preface the interview with a ringing endorsement for gaming. “On our show, we want to treat video games like movie openings, ’cause it is a huge thing,” he said.
It wasn’t the first time Fallon brought gaming onto the show. In April, he played Punch-Out with G4’s Morgan Webb, and he sent SNL cast member Jason Sudekis to cover E3. Shortly thereafter, Microsoft’s Kudo Tsunoda went on the show to demonstrate Project Natal. Schafer’s appearance went beyond those demos, as Fallon likened Shafer’s celebrity game designer status to the weight Martin Scorsese brings to a film.
I’m always rooting for this type of thing to occur. Video games, in many ways, have yet to mature, and in some ways they’ll never be like film, but it doesn’t help when they’re viewed as a waste of time. It’s even worse when they’re simply ignored in the mainstream because they aren’t seen as important, like movies.
You get the sense from Fallon that he really is a gamer, and is passionate about the subject matter. Good for him, because he’s tapping into a lucrative demographic that too many other broadcasters won’t even touch.