The Gamer: a quiet stroll through the world of video games

The world of video games is vast, and the information people seek is often fragmented. This forces the curious to do lengthy and often frustrating research before getting a comprehensive picture of this innovative scenario. For these very reasons, I have decided to point everyone who has a desire to explore the world of video games in a 360-degree way to an easy and safe way.

This street crosses the streets of “The Gamer” by Rudy Bandiera.

the gamer

When we decided to create our first game, we were loaded with our experience as hardened gamers and tireless developers, but lacking the experience to go into this adventure. We had an idea based on many years of playing, aware, however, that it was not enough and we did not quite understand how to move forward with our new proposals. We were in fact unaware of the nature of the reach of certain devices that we knew only as players. So like our prehistoric ancestors, we began to take our first steps out of our cave, armed with a healthy and curious spirit of exploration.

That’s when we came across The Gamer podcast: a serialized audio content distributed on the web that turned out to be a real gold mine of information!

Rudy Bandiera and his editorial team have created a whole path to follow that is easy and comprehensive. Contrary to what it may seem from the title, this podcast is aimed precisely at everyone because it is easy and pleasant for the listener to understand: both insiders and those who are more distant from the subject and who may not yet have grasped its meaning or potential will appreciate its content.

Many aspects are touched upon in the podcast: from analyzing the impact of video games in our society, interviewing sociologists and psychologists, to the more extreme world of e-sports, where kids with a talent for video games face off in virtual arenas in a healthy competition that is second to nobler considered sports.

One can also find numerous testimonials from those who, of video games, have made a living out of it as entertainers, creators or otherwise. If then these aspects were not enough, we also touch on the technical and technological side by talking about consoles, pc and important engines such as
and Unity.

Episode list:

  • Are video games good or bad for you?
  • Playing Fortnite is not a game
  • Being a gamer by trade
  • E-sports: players, sportsmen, athletes
  • E-sports: managers, business, coaches
  • Kids becoming superstars
  • The unsuspected: the “serious professionals” who play hardball
  • The creators
  • From FPSs to RPGs, the types of video games.
  • The technology behind video games
  • Business, branding and advertising
  • The future

In each of the 12 episodes, we hear the voices of guests and witnesses, who through anecdotes and personal experience, make us interested in their views on video games through sincere and natural sharing of reflections. Each topic is also supported by numbers and data that not only offer more credibility to what is being heard, but also help to better orient and delve into the topic.
I make no secret of the fact that sometimes impressive numbers can be upsetting, leaving you in disbelief.

The episodes touch on many personal stories about the lifestyles of insiders and their daily lives, making a world that previously seemed distant if not unknown much more real and tangible.

In addition, at the conclusion of each episode, Rudy, along with his cronies Nick and Leo, try a new engaging game, making us fun listeners.

Having finished the journey, we find ourselves more aware and knowledgeable about this world, so much so that we can finally understand the mechanisms that move it and are making it grow, finally recognizing that video games are one of the most socially interesting evolutions of the last 30 years.

We were lucky enough to be able to interview Rudy, Leo, and Nick, but before we tell you about our meeting with them, a few words about this exuberant trio:

Nicholas Martin

Niccolo Martin (Nick)
Producer of The Gamer

Nicholas Martin (Nick)
Producer of The Gamer.

Producer of TV promos and for the past few years producer of podcasts.

Experience in podcasts started and specialized with “one to one” interviews and then moved on to much more complex work starting right from The Gamer.

Leopold Di Lenge (Leo)
Sound Designer

Musician, sound designer and University Teacher with a strong musical background.
Many TV experiences in the last 20 years, where he met Niccolò.
Leo also made his debut in the world of podcasts with the creation of The Gamer and making specializing in podcast making a good chunk of his work.

Leopold Di Lenge

Leopold Di Lenge (Leo)
Sound Designer

Rudy Bandiera

Rudy Bandiera
Voice of The Gamer

Rudy Bandiera
Sociotechnological Disclosure.

He does not feel a label on himself, but he is definitely a technology popularizer and social media expert. He has been an avid gamer for as long as he can remember.

How did the idea for The Gamer come about?

Rudy begins to tell the exegesis, “It came about when one night at dinner talking about a podcast in the making I was talking to Fabio (Audible’s Original Content Manager) about my passion for video games, and he looked at me and pointed out that it could be great podcasts,” and so we find out that from there the writing of The Gamer began as a track obviously and then things evolved.

Rudy and Lao on the road

What made you think this would be a good idea?

Rudy – “The lack in Italy of such a product in mode and so in-depth. Of course something was already there. But nothing that touched in such depth. We did a lot of fine work. With dozens of people contributing, people who don’t always expose themselves, like the CEO of Sony Italy. That made me think it was a good idea.”

Nick – “However, there was no certainty at the market level that it was going to be a success, it was more at the personal level where Rudy immediately identified the target audience for this product, which was not the hardcore enthusiast or the insider, and me, I fit perfectly into this target audience. I have a casual gamer background, I loved playing video games in my teens. Then after a break I would look at this world from a distance. Talking with Rudy about the topic I felt very involved right away, and so if I was involved right away, it was something that could work.”

Leo are you also a player?

“Yes, I started with my Commodore 64 back in 1985 when my father gave it to me. To get as far as the experience with a PS1 and many games with friends. Then I had a gap that was broken with the arrival of my son who is a big Fortnite player. As you hear in the second episode of The Gamer.”

We also found this to be a nice intervention in the series, genuine and sympathetic.

Leo – “Now instead I’ve started playing again, of course I don’t have a lot of time and with my 45 years of age I don’t have the readiness for the new dynamics of the game”…and with this comment the laughter of the other two is triggered and who knows what they emphasize 😊

Leo – “I must say, though, that this renewed interest in video games has reopened a number of interests for me from a professional point of view, for my role as a sound designer. Such as sound curation, sound dynamics within video games. Especially on the music, and I recently redid a record inspired by the music from Red Dead Redemption 2.”

“The Prairie Mysteries – Last Wild Place” album, which can be heard on either Spotify and on Amazon

Album I listened to and it contains all the charm of great landscapes and the beauty of travel. Very engaging.

How long was the preparation of The Gamer?
Immediately Nick does not hesitate to answer, “Nine months, like a son. Not obviously every day 8 hours. The production had physiological times to meet. Keep in mind that there are 12 episodes with inside 3 to 5 interviews per episode. Interviewees belonging to the video game world but with different backgrounds. With the difficulty of contacting and convincing some of them. Sometimes we had to adopt very different techniques. With some, a call was enough to agree to the interview, with others we had to ‘haggle’ and work differently. Especially to explain the project we had in mind that was not immediately understood by everyone. All in all, let’s say that the initial stage was cumbersome because of the production phase. After the preparation of each episode new ideas were needed for the next ones, and Rudy was very busy especially during the recording. You can say that he has the gift of interviewing, it came very naturally to him, and in a few minutes he would prepare things that I would manage after months of preparation.”

So can we say that there was a shared direction?
Continued Nick: “Yes, absolutely, the creation part starts with the idea of doing an interview with people we are interested in in the world of video games. Rudy had the idea of the 10 episodes as 10 levels of a video game. We have also included sound popups that interrupt the flow of the episode but give an explanation of what is being said. Because we imagined our future listeners who may have had no idea what acronyms, titles, dates, or technical terms were and were in danger of getting lost along the way. These are all mechanisms that came to us building the episode and building the podcast. It was very nice to experience and create them together.

Did you have moments of strong disagreements?

Rudy – “No strong no, absolutely, I think you can only do such a project if you are aligned under macro points and so we obviously had disagreements. In the sense that for me, maybe one thing was not good and vice versa, but all normal things. Also because everybody has their own professionalism and so for example I don’t feel like putting my nose in what Leo does because he is the expert.”

Nick – “I noticed in Rudy a strong ability to handle what was coming from him and a sensitivity instead to the professionalism of others. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with anyone with such deep respect, and I have to say, from experience, that when you work like that everything runs smoothly and the result is good. For me at the end it was amazing how everything went and fit together and it all seemed to go downhill.”

Leo-“The Podcast can become a distancing product, especially with this type of topic, especially because it could be a niche product and too sectoral. Instead, we managed to package something that is good for both experts and laymen of the topic. And it has become an accessible product for everyone. I would say it is a podcast with a different color.”

The mainstream of the podcast is the consideration that video games have in society … is this something that is changing? Is there a different consideration?

Rudy – “In my opinion, yes. For one reason of substance that generates others, basically for the first time we have a generation that has grown up with video games and has become adults, and so so much has been cleared of what concerns the world of video games because there is no generational separation. Today’s 40-year-olds are people who have been playing all their lives and therefore view this world with a less ‘childlike’ regard. Also adding a very important fact, that big companies have realized that there is a gigantic business around it and so they are taking it very seriously.

For example, these days I am analyzing the world of cryptocurrencies, and there are some proposals to use a cryptocurrency for exchanges within video games. A single cryptocurrency that is used within all video games. Proposal coming from IBM. That if it makes this kind of consideration and if cryptocurrencies are going to be created, for me it has changed just the approach that society has to video games. However, it is also true that it has not changed completely because we have so many people who have an old understanding of video games. Also marketing managers or CEOs of large companies. But I think it’s just a generational issue that will tend to end. We in my opinion have moved ahead of the times with this project.”

Educational video games are not common, do you think they might be a useful idea?

Rudy-“This, exaggerated, is the same argument that the program Neptune broadcast at 2 a.m. on RAI nobody watches, because it is boring. So the risk is, that the educational video game risks being interpreted as boring and many times it is produced as such. Something should be done that approaches both the market and the educational world. But it’s really complicated.”
Nick – “In fact every time a game introduces a strongly educational part it turns out to ruin the product.”
Rudy – “it is the alchemy that is missing in these cases, in fact, has not yet been found.”
Nick-“Perhaps the argument should be taken in reverse, so it is the gamification we talk about in the gamer that has to enter the educational part. It’s not the video games that have to educate, but it’s the mechanisms of the games that have to enter the educational world.”
Leo – “From my experience as a father I can tell you that in my opinion an educational game should: implement the ‘uneducational’ dynamics of games with all the educational elements you need to bring something. The ability to learn through games is amplified, logical that you have to put him in an educational context keeping those dynamics that lead him to connect every day with his friends to play together. For example, as a college teacher, I have found more success in my lessons the moment I made them more fun and not just lecture. I think this is the hardest part.”
Rudy – “I think you also have to understand what educational means. For example in my opinion Detroit Become Humans is a game that can be considered educational, it has a strong civic education component.”

If you had to choose a famous person to have The Gamer listen to?

Rudy – “For spillover that could be on our society right now Mario Draghi comes to mind, I know that might sound exaggerated.”
Leo – “I think I would choose both the parents of the kids and the kids themselves. It could be very helpful in clarifying a lot of the dynamics that are in this world.”
Nick – “If there’s one problem that The Gamer has, it’s that you can tell from the get-go that it’s about video games, and to a person who doesn’t play video games it’s comparable to a wall.”

Speaking personally beyond the wall of all the haters that you have surely crossed paths with since the publication of the work…what was the most constructive criticism and what was the one that annoyed you?

Rudy – “I have been almost violently criticized by a clique of hyper-experts who believe that communication about video games is only their preserve. That’s because when you try to make a mainstream product in an environment that has had little mainstream about it, that niche that first popularized it feels somehow outraged by someone from the outside.”

Nick – “From my point of view, the problem that this product has is always that: that video games for those who don’t know them are always considered a useless pastime and not at all perceived all that connotation of growth and ennobling that part of the time you devote to pastime and entertainment. Because it’s true that it’s a pastime…but isn’t it also reading?”

Leo – “I would like to say something about haters. Let’s start with the assumption that they are ignorant, so having no arguments since they don’t know what is being talked about they often criticize the work of others and the points of view that are put forth in this podcast. The ignorance starts from the fact that for example many people who criticize Fortnite for the violence they expose their children to afterwards have them play GTA always out of ignorance or because maybe it was included in the console bundle.”

For experienced gamers, it is easy to spot the game created to “monetize,” the one you see by playing it that has no soul and especially exploits ideas from other games. Any advice on how to spot them before purchase?
Rudy – “Very complicated, especially for the adult buyer segment. One point I was making with the everyeye editorial staff is that there is no reference to date that can guide an adult to purchase their first games.”
Nick – “My advice is for those who are not experts not to focus on buying the latest title released, but to select a few somewhat dated but still compelling titles, and having finished that one you will find the game you were interested in before at a more affordable price.”

What kind of legacy will The Gamer leave in the minds of your listeners?
Rudy-“I have a word that can answer that. Awareness. If this passes, we have won everything.”
Leo – “I hope the feeling I feel, that of being a better parent.”
Nick – “It also gave me certainty in this direction, things I felt sympathy for were certified on several factors. It also gave me a lot of breathing room for the future after we talked to entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in the future. Where the video game is a small part…it makes me say that then there is material and space. Not only economically, but also culturally.”

And finally one last question, do you foresee a The Gamer 2?
Nick – “No, but we wouldn’t mind.”
Rudy – “Perhaps in another form.”
Nick – “We realized during the making that maybe spin-offs would fit. Because each topic covered became so big that it would deserve more space.”

The interview is over, once again I find myself with new learning, and most importantly I find that I have met some clear and kind people. We need this kind of thing so much.

Greetings from your developer

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