Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nothing Screams 'Videogames' Like a Mime!

United Microware Industries ad for its VIC-20 line, from the January 1983 issue of Electronic Games magazine:

The problem with using a mime to promote videogames is that the two art forms have almost nothing to do with each other.  Videogames are about noise and visuals and interactivity; mimes are about grace and imagination and silence.  (While some occasionally try to be about interactivity, it's always at the risk of being ignored or physically injured by those who aren't into the whole audience participation thing.)

But the mime employed for this photo-shoot is at least giving it her all.  She looks positively delighted about being buzzed by spaceships and bombarded with meteors, although she does appear to be trying to elbow the VIC-20 itself out of the shot.  It's probably more exciting than walking against invisible wind and blowing up invisible balloons for drunken hecklers at the Third Annual Art'n'Beer Fest In the Park.

In all seriousness, I really do like good mimecraft.  Most random street mimes aren't very good, but a trained, creative, funny performer can do amazing things without so much as a prop or a line of dialogue.

I wish UMI had survived into the Sega Genesis era of the early 1990's.  I would have loved to see this mime on a TV ad, opening her mouth and silently screaming nothing at all.

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