Interview: The Daily Pixel
The Daily Pixel is a gaming news website. Nothing special you might be thinking, but you’d be wrong to ignore it. It’s a hilarious comedy website and is one of the best things to come along in years and it deserves your attention.
PopBucket: For those unfamiliar with the website, can you please tell us what The Daily Pixel is.
Daily Pixel: The Daily Pixel is a satirical news website based on the premise that video games are real. If you’re looking for parallels, think of The Onion meets video game fan fiction – but not the creepy kind. Am I making any sense? I’ll try and explain…
Video games really take suspension of disbelief to a whole new level, regularly asking gamers to accept completely ludicrous concepts as totally logical. The Daily Pixel essentially plays around with these ideas through humorous mock “news” items that blur the line between video games and reality.
The whole concept is admittedly quite wacky and kind of hard to explain, so to fully understand what we’re aiming for come and check out the site.
PB: What made you decide upon the look and feel of a real news website?
DP: The site itself is styled as a serious news website, and we’ve tried to mimic the format used by the likes of CNN, The Guardian and the other big names. Half the comedy value comes from treating inherently silly concepts in a deadly serious way, so I think the style of the site helps us achieve that.
PB: So who comes up with the ‘news’?
DP: The majority of the posts are written by me although I encourage readers to submit their own. I’ve had quite a lot of support from the guys and gals on the Eurogamer.net forums, with a fairly steady stream of submissions.
I actually love reading other peoples’ work, as when you’re generating most of the content it’s easy to lose sight of what’s funny and what’s not – particularly after you’ve proof read a paragraph 10 times. Having outside input helps ensure I don’t lose the plot and hopefully keeps the writing fresh.
If anyone is interested, you can e-mail your “news” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PB: What’s the process you use to come up with the news?
DP: There’s no real process, but I do have a top secret list of ideas that I update whenever inspiration strikes, and I usually pick a few of these every week to develop into full-blown stories. I guess my selection is heavily influenced by the games I’m playing at that point in time, although sometimes an idea just pops into your head and you immediately know it’ll work.
PB: Do you find that there are there any games or genres in particular that are ripe for picking?
DP: I think it’s a tie between first-person shooters and RPGs. First person shooters are always fun to write about because they’re popular and you know everyone will get the joke. RPGs are awesome because the game mechanics are so inherently ridiculous it’s dead easy to come up with ideas. But I love RPGs, so I go easy on them…
PB: You’ve only been around for a short while but you seem to already be getting a dedicated following. Why do you think that’s case?
DP: I think it’s all about collective experiences, being able to share and laugh at the silly things we’ve encountered over the years but never spoken about. I kind of see The Daily Pixel as a collection of friendly rants – we’re taking the piss out of these games, but we still love them and wouldn’t want them to be any different. People love ranting.
I also think people enjoy the site because it provides another way for them to explore the virtual worlds they spend so much time in.
PB: Do you have plans for the future?
DP: Well, I’m going to keep writing and hopefully people will keep contributing. I’ve got some interesting ideas that will take the concept a little further, but my lips are sealed and you’ll just have to stay tuned.
PB: It’s clear that you’re a huge fan of computer games, referencing games old and new. What’s your earliest memory of playing games?
DP: Crikey, that’s a tough one. I was an 8-bit Sega kid and my earliest memory of gaming is probably Alex Kidd on the MasterSystem. God that game annoyed me – you’d skilfully make it through the level only to be confronted with a boss that insisted on playing paper, rock scissors. Problem was I had no idea what the rules were.
PB: And finally, what’s your favourite console and game?
DP: Easily Demon’s Souls… although Dark Souls is a close second. Never has a game made me feel so invested in a virtual world… to be so afraid of dying that I would be physically shaking after beating a boss. The fact you have no control over your save file and the game is constantly recording your progress means that, unlike 99% of games out there, your decisions are actually important. Add to that the most innovative online mode I’ve come across in years, Demon’s Souls is simply legendary.
Favourite console of all time? Probably the Dreamcast. I remember being totally stunned when Sega withdrew support. It was so ahead of it’s time and deserved to do much better.
PB: Well thanks for your time and good luck for the future. And keep up the excellent work.