VANCOUVER, CA (May 28, 2009) – Smoking Gun Interactive Inc. a premier independent video game studio announced today that it is collaborating with the award-winning writer Douglas Rushkoff for the story of it’s as-of-yet undisclosed new property. Rushkoff will work closely with the team at Smoking Gun, to develop story narratives across a range of media formats that can feed off one another and exist concurrently.
“Our vision at Smoking Gun Interactive has always been to deliver interactive entertainment content in new and exciting ways that push the medium forwards”, said John Johnson CEO and Creative Director of Smoking Gun Interactive, “We are delighted to announce our collaboration with Douglas. His astounding skill in creating compelling narrative is the perfect fit for the themes and scenarios we are introducing in our first property”.
Winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is a bestselling and controversial author, comic’s writer, intellectual, and documentarian. His ten books on new media and popular culture have been translated to over thirty languages. They include Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism, and Coercion, winner of the Marshall McLuhan Award for best media book. Rushkoff also wrote the acclaimed novels Ecstasy Club and Exit Strategy and graphic novel, Club Zero-G, as well as the recently released Life Inc: How the world became a corporation and how to take it back.
"It’s an unexpected wish come true to be collaborating with the team at Smoking Gun Interactive, the first developers I've encountered who really understand the difference and potential marriage between narrative and game - between storytelling and total immersion," said Douglas Rushkoff. "I'm going to get to work closely with them, writing narrative pathways that carry readers through the universe of the game world. We'll all be writing for and stealing from one another, developing plot points, set pieces, and characters that have both stories in the books, and purposes in the games. Players who have read the books will have a richer game experience; readers who play the game will come to understand the stories from the inside."
Smoking Gun Interactive was formed in 2007 by former developers from Relic Entertainment. Led by CEO and Creative Director John Johnson, and founders Angie Pytlewski and Drew Dunlop, the executive team have worked together for over 8 years building and leading passionate teams. Smoking Gun’s core team of over 20 leads and senior staff are some of the best the industry has to offer, and will help position the studio into becoming a leader in innovative interactive entertainment.
Smoking Gun’s founders have developed multiple platinum titles with over half a billion dollars in revenue, including the critically acclaimed and award-winning RTS Company of Heroes™, that garnered over 45 industry awards and is the highest rated strategy game of all time*.
For updated news and additional company information, please visit the official Smoking Gun Interactive site www.smokingguninc.com
*According to www.gamerankings.com
About Smoking Gun Interactive
Smoking Gun Interactive was founded in 2007 by award winning industry veterans and the creators of Company of Heroes™, the highest rated Strategy game of all time. Garnering over 45 industry awards including 9 – Best PC Game of year and 13 – Best Strategy Game of the Year awards and is currently rated 5th best PC Game of all time.
Smoking Gun's founders have over 30 years of industry experience shipping 14 products, including 9 platinum titles. They have worked together for eight years, building and leading passionate teams -- teams that stand with the very best in the industry. Over time, they realized that they shared a vision of what games could be; with Smoking Gun they have come together to build that dream.
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About Douglas Rushkoff
Winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values. He sees “media” as the landscape where this interaction takes place, and “literacy” as the ability to participate consciously in it.
His ten best-selling books on new media and popular culture have been translated to over thirty languages. They include Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism, andCoercion, winner of the Marshall Mcluhan Award for best media book. Rushkoff also wrote the acclaimed novels Ecstasy Club and Exit Strategy and graphic novel, Club Zero-G. He has just finished a book for Harper Business, applying renaissance principles to today’s complex economic landscape, Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out. He wrote a series of graphic novels for Vertigo called Testament, and is now finishing a book on the corporate spectacle called “Life Incorporated” for RandomHouse, to be released in June 2009.
He has written and hosted two award-winning Frontline documentaries - The Merchants of Cool looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, and The Persuaders, about the cluttered landscape of marketing, and new efforts to overcome consumer resistance.
Rushkoff writes a column for the music and culture magazine, Arthur. His commentaries have aired on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s All Things Considered, and have appeared in publications from The New York Times to Time magazine. He wrote the first syndicated column on cyberculture for The New York Times and Guardian of London, as well as regular columns for Discover Magazine and The Feature.
Rushkoff is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University’s New Media Program. He teaches regularly for the MaybeLogic Academy, NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, and the Esalen Institute. He also lectures about media, art, society, and change at conferences and universities around the world.
He serves on the Board of Directors of the Media Ecology Association, The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and as a founding member of Technorealism, as well as the Advisory Board of The National Association for Media Literacy Education, MeetUp.com and HyperWords . He has been awarded Senior Fellowships by the Markle Foundation, the Center for Global Communications, and the International University of Japan. He served as an Advisor to the United Nations Commission on World Culture and regularly appears on TV shows from NBC Nightly News to Larry King and Bill Maher. He developed the Electronic Oracle software series for HarperCollins Interactive.
Rushkoff is on the board of several new media non-profits and companies, and regularly consults on new media arts and ethics to museums, governments, synagogues, churches, and universities, as well as Sony, TCI, advertising agencies, and other Fortune 500 companies.
Rushkoff graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, received an MFA in Directing from California Institute of the Arts, a post-graduate fellowship (MFA) from The American Film Institute, and a Director’s Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He’s finishing his dissertation on media literacy and gaming for University Utrecht. He has worked as a certified stage fight choreographer, an SAT tutor, and as keyboardist for the industrial band PsychicTV.
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