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Subject: Poll - Are You Interested in Video Game Autographs? rss

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Todd Lazure
Canada
Airdrie
Alberta
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Once in awhile, I like to attend conventions featuring autograph booths for a chance to meet some of the brains behind the video game industry - as well as get an autograph!

The (few) autographs I obtain leave some of my friends jealous and drooling, while others seem to not care at all - even going so far as to claim the autograph to be a defacement of the video game or related merchandise. This polar opposite view of Video Game-related autographs amongst my friends has me wondering - how does the VGG community view video game autographs?

Of course, if you have gotten a video-game related autograph, feel free to post about it below! I'd love to hear your stories about getting autographs, what you own that is autographed, in addition to how you feel about autographs personally.

Poll: How Interested Are You In Video Game-related Autographs?
1. How Interested Are You In Video Game-related Autographs?
Very Interested
Interested
Neutral
Not Interested
Not Interested at All
2. Have you ever gotten an autograph that is video game-related?
Yes - From a Designer/Developer
Yes - From a Musician/Composer
Yes - From an Animator/Artist
Yes - Other (Post below)
No - But I would like to, one day!
No - I am not interested in game-related autographs
No - I am not interested in autographs at all
3. What medium(s) or object(s) do you like to get signed, for video game-related autographs?
Video Game Case
Video Game Disc/Cartridge
Video Game Manual
Official VG Merchandise - Art Book, Soundtrack, etc.
Autograph Album or separate paper
My own body!
Other (Post Below)
I have never gotten a VG autograph
      31 answers
Poll created by Kitsune5010
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Todd Lazure
Canada
Airdrie
Alberta
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I've been to a few conventions - mostly those available to us up here in Canada. I haven't been to any video game-specific conventions, but I've been to a number of conventions featuring individuals from video game backgrounds, or who work in multiple industries.

Each year I try to make the Calgary-based conventions. The biggest one here is very likely the Calgary Comic Expo, with a distinctly comic-theme but which features many 'geek'-culture celebrities and events. Last year, the entire Star Trek crew for one of the series (I wish I could tell you which!) met all in the same place for the first time in what was claimed a decade, to offer $600 autographs and a photobooth. A bit pricey, in my opinion, but it didn't stop the place from filling up so fast that the Calgary Fire Department had to be called in to partially evacuate the building - the place was far beyond safe capacity. Needless to say, I didn't make it into the convention that Saturday... 4 hour line-ups aren't my thing. Still, some cool VG people do come to the comic expo each year, and you can snag a few good autographs if you are willing to wait for a little while.

Another convention I like to hit each year is Otafest, hosted at my very own school. While it is anime-centric, a number of people behind anime localization are also the same people behind video game localization here in North America. This year, the convention was partially funded by Nippon Ichi Software, Inc., for example. I'm also quick to research anime voice actors for video game voice acting roles. These are probably the easiest sort of autographs to obtain, since these conventions tend to be smaller and the voice actors are usually only getting attention from a specific fanbase. Their face always lights up with delight - or confusion - when I confront them with a one-shot video game they helped create some 6 years ago!

Currently, my collection of autographs is fairly small, and strictly limited to voice actors. My favourite autographs thus far are:

- Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel, signed on the cover slip by the award-winning voice actor Vic Mignogna. He voiced Edward Elric for the Fullmetal Alchemist anime series, as well as each of the Fullmetal Alchemist video games. As well as:
- Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, also signed on the cover slip by Vic Mignogna. One of his lesser known roles was the title character for Disgaea 3, Mao. He even signed 'Mao' underneath his autograph, as if to indicate this!
- Devil May Cry 4, signed on the cover slip by Johnny Yong Bosch for his role as the title character Nero, although better known for his anime voice acting roles as well as being Adam Park in Might Morphin Power Rangers. He also has his own band, which he tried with much fervor to sell albums to the anime-centric audience at the convention. His face betrayed how well that was going - hopefully things have turned for the better for him, since!

I've also got a number of anime-related autographs in my Death Note, my own little autograph album. A few of them also pertain to various video game roles, although typically very minor roles. I've thought of uploading pictures of my little autograph collection to my personal album, sometime...

One autograph I wish I had gotten on a video game rather than in my Death Note was Michelle Ruff. At the time, I only knew her for her roles in a variety of anime series, but I later discovered that she is the voice behind Etna - one of the most beloved characters of the Disgaea series! As well as Salvatore the Magnificent from the same universe...

Enough about me, though... How about you?!
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Luke Stirling
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When I was in my early-mid 20s (i.e. last century) I went to a few sci-fi cons, and I got a few autographs then. But the appeal of the whole thing, from the general discomfort with large scale events, to the waning of enthusiasm for autographs and paraphernalia just kind fell off for me. I guess it's probably largely concurrent with the rise of video on the internet. I can see and hear what anyone creatively connected to the works I like has to say with dealing with the chaos of public events.

Although that said, I had a kind of relapse into gibbering fan when Joss Whedon, as well as several of the cast, turned up to the screening of Serenity I went to. It was the second public screening of the film. I knew they were going to be there for the premiere the night before, but that they made it to the one I went to as well was a very pleasant surprise. Not that there was any chance (or desire on my part) for autographs, as it was very much a drop in visit at the start of the film, before they had to catch flights back to the States. (This all taking place at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival).
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I had never considered a vg autograph before this post.

I do have some autographs though. Kurt Vonnegut, Smashing Pumpkins, Moby, Yo La Tengo, and I won a BGG contest for some Dungeon board game and it came signed (probably by designer)... those are the signatures I can recall.

I can't see myself standing in line for a vg designer autograph. But if it didn't cost me anything I wouldn't object.
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Jason Birzer
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I'm not a huge autograph guy. Mostly, the reason why I'm in an autograph line is to meet someone I admire, and the signature is just something to remind me of that fact. Most of my autographs involve musicians.

The only video game related signatures I've gotten was when I attended MAGFest a couple of years ago where I met Jon St. John (Voice of Duke Nukem) and Ellen McLain (Voice of GLaDOS). I had both sign my badge, and I had Jon sign my box of Duke it out in D.C., which he was glad to see, because he apparently hadn't seen it before. I had Ellen sign my friend's copy of Portal 2, since I don't have a hard copy of it.

I was primarily there for Earthbound Papas (Which includes Nobuo Uematsu) and I got their autographs for their lone album.

I also own a t-shirt I won from a contest that has the autographs from the team that developed Betrayal in Antara. Funny thing about that was that I was trying for the artwork they were giving away, and that I never bought the game after it was released.
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Seth Brown
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TheLongshot wrote:
I'm not a huge autograph guy. Mostly, the reason why I'm in an autograph line is to meet someone I admire, and the signature is just something to remind me of that fact.

This.
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Krzysztof Zięba
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Kraków
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I've gotten a signature from James Portnow (of Extra Credits fame) in my "Art of Game Design" book by Jesse Schell during an industry event in April. It's my first and only autograph to date.
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Phil
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Nope. Never got an autograph and never wanted one. Can't see the point in that. Can't see the point in fandom at all. Couldn't care less for the "artists" who are behind the work. The work is what I am interested in. But not on any fanatic level. It would never come into my head to freak out just because a random star or whomever is sitting in the next room or even across me.
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Im not a big autograph fan, I have only paid for a handful of them (most are authors). I did pay for Billy West, Phil Lamar, and John DiMaggio's, on their prints a couple years ago because I enjoy their works so much (and they put up with the fanboy in me when I ran a panel for them). I do have a random lot of signed stuff that is quasi related to gaming with stories to go for them. Three of the neatest are:

1. Years ago I got to attend the only east coast showing of My Name is Bruce which was in Miami. It was a private showing, but he is a friend of the family so I got to go to. Afterwards I had him sign the blade of my Resident Evil 4 chainsaw controller, that I bought for him to sign:

Also on the stand is a prop from Burn Notice - the TV show Bruce was in at the time. Bruce is actually the voice actor for several games that are not Evildead related - Pitfall Harry in Pitfall 3d is one of my favorites.



2. I use to moderate panels at Dragoncon every year, thanks to connections at the event. A couple years ago I got to meet a fella named Neil Kaplan who voiced a version of Optimus Prime. He was a nice guy and he was getting screwed by the con, so I offered to drive him and his wife from MARTA (the monorail in Atlanta), to his friends house in Roswell (about an hour out of my way). So I gave him a lift and to thank me he gave me two images, one of his Optimus, and one of his announced new character, that was announced that day, Tychus Findlay from Star Craft 2. No image uploaded sadly.

3. The next year at Dragoncon I endedup running half adozen panels in one day. Of those there was a Gargoyles Panel (with Marina Sirtis and Johnathan Frakes), A Space Ghost Panel (with George Lowe), a old animation panel (with C. Martin Croaker), and a Futurama panel with the three mentioned before. Knowing I got to see them all on one day, I decided to get something unique signed.

And they all thought it was awesome. Most, if not all, have done game voices.

Edit - stupid image tabs.
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Brian Baird
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Generally, the only game "stuff" I have autographed are games I've personally worked on or been at the studio that worked on it. There's no value to them bar the personal memories of the effort & struggles that went into finishing those projects. A few of the games are scanned & in the VGG database. The signed posters aren't.

I do have three signed games I didn't work on directly. One was a promo pack for Alien Hominid. The other two were given to me because of favours done for people on the dev team and they just happened to be in two of my long time favourite series - Championship Manager/Project Gotham Racing.

Random autographs of celebrities (gaming or nongaming)? Not my thing.
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I don't think the autograph would mean as much to me as meeting the person.
For example:
In high school, I was captain obnoxious Smashing Pumpkins fan. I LOVED them. (Side note: Can't stand them now, even the stuff I loved.) Someone gave me their autographs, but I never got to meet them. Years later, I tossed the autographed item, along with most of their memorabilia.
I also liked Leo Kottke in high school, and I loved it when he was on Prairie Home Companion. Because I ran the school newspaper as a senior, I got to go interview him when he performed in our tiny town. I never got an autograph, but that memory I will hold and treasure forever.
I think the same would be true for video game things. If I got to meet the designers behind my favorite games and chat with them, I would value that above an autograph.
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Todd Lazure
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I'm starting to notice a little bit of a trend in the poll responses. At first I thought it might just be statements of opinion on the matter - but I can't help but feel like there may have been a misunderstanding somewhere!

I think I may have come across as suggesting the idea that signed items are made more valuable solely by the signature on them. While they might or might not be, I full-heartedly agree that the value of a signed item is in the experience, rather than the item itself, and that was what I meant to convey by my poll as well as the questions I posed in the original post. I should have been more clear - I wanted to hear what everyone has that is signed, but I moreso wanted to hear the wonderful stories behind them - the people you met, the experiences you had, and the sorts of things that happened at these events. While everyone definitely did live up to the intended nature of the poll with their responses, I do want to apologize for my own mistake.

To illustrate:

- Fullmetal Alchemist is, by far, my most favorite anime of all time! As well, it is one of very, VERY few anime where I consider the English voice acting as being on par with the Japanese. I deeply admired Hiromu Arakawa for this piece of art, but I also really wanted to get a chance to hear about and possibly meet the other people behind it - including Vic Mignogna, who earned an award for his incredible voice acting talent as the main character.

- As well, Disgaea 3 was my entry into the series. I loved it with a passion, especially the title character, Mao. If it weren't for his zany personality, and the voice acting talent behind it that brought him to life on my screen, it certainly would not have been the same experience.

Thus, I was incredibly excited at the opportunity to meet him, and meet him I did. While I did get the items signed, it didn't quite mean as much as sitting in his voice acting panel two hours before, where I got to learn what it meant to be a voice actor, how to become a voice actor, as well as his experiences in working within the anime industry. An incredibly inspiring panel, especially for someone who had hoped to one day work in the Japanese animation industry (at the time; although that hope still hasn't left me to this day...). It would have been nice to talk to him longer, but as it was, time during the autograph session was running low. Someone had brought along a large, cardboard box full of an entire manga series, as well as his full anime DVD collection, for the other voice actors to sign - and as such, the line was held up quite a bit. By the time we got to the front of the room, we were limited to 2 signatures each - and weren't afforded the same opportunity to chat with the voice actors, or get a photograph with them. Still, the items I have signed are a reminder of that convention and my experiences there.

So, if I did come across as a little materialistic, please forgive me. If I really didn't and I'm just jumping the gun, please forgive my paranoia instead! ^^'
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I think it's great that you had those experiences!
I want to say more, but mostly in the vein of talking about anime voice acting, which might derail this thread too much.
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