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Editor's Notebook

It's getting to be time to pay attention...

For the past several years, I've felt that I was just too busy to delve into the world of gaming. There is so much to do each and every day, who has time to spend blasting things away or dropping little bricks into slots?Recently, however, I thought I could feel something beginning to creep up on me, that I could feel a shadow about to fall over me. Yes, it was gaming, telling me that it was time to pay attention. This issue forced me to take a look at the games that are out there, and was I surprised! The best of them are creative and fun.

Gaming, is in fact a massive industry that I feel will begin to impact an animation artist's life more and more. As graphics continue to evolve and consumers' appetites create a demand for more detailed plots, the talents of people from the traditional animation areas will be recruited into the world of interactive animation. I don't think they will defect completely, but I can see a day when freelancing for an animation studio and then going to freelance at a gaming company will be viewed as the norm. The upside is going to be more companies added to the work-giving mix. In fact, some studios are already there. Jeff Fino of Wild Brain, whose Green Eggs and Ham just won the Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Interactive Production, recently told us that they work on games and their traditional animation projects side by side.

All in all, this diversion into multimedia has bolstered my opinion that perhaps the statement "Animation, the Art Form of the 21st Century" is true, as the multimedia field grows in use and prevalence in our daily lives. In this month's survey, "The Future of Gaming," some key players in the gaming biz offer us their ideas on what lies ahead.

I would also like to draw attention to this month's Student Corner article "How to Find a Job in Multimedia" by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson. Even if you aren't looking for a job specifically in multimedia, I suggest you read this article. Pamela offers a lot of solid advice to anyone looking for a job. Furthermore, her words about portfolios, resumés and demo reels are right on the money, even for traditional animation job seekers. When I was reviewing portfolios at Hanna-Barbera, nothing was more frustrating than opening up a portfolio and having it explode on my desk into a flurry of loose paper. Plus, when people at festivals would hand me CD-ROMs as portfolios, I'd think, "Thanks, it proves that you are really technologically savvy, but when it is 6:00 p.m., and I have to review all of the incoming portfolios...I don't have time to take the CD, go downstairs, print out the images for the producers who don't have CD-ROM players in their offices, etc." It is better to call and get it right the first time so that recruiters can truly, fairly evaluate the art work. The pet peeves of recruiters could go on and on and on for pages. But a good recruiter will look at your art and be able to find an appropriate place for you even if it isn't listed as your exact objective, so don't worry about perhaps missing out on work by being focused.

I would also like to thank Daniel Rein and his brother, Major Mike Rein for their fascinating article "Flight Simulators: A Bird's Eye View."After speaking to everyone from our local air force base to the Pentagon, I came across Major Mike Rein in the Air Force Personnel Center in Texas. He hooked me up with his brother, and we sent them nearly a dozen flight simulator games.Now we, non-pilots, can hear from an expert which flight simulator games are most like flying the real thing. Speaking with them and editing the article surely proved to me that flying a small, zippy jet is a world unto its own and indeed, a very complex and difficult one. For those of us used to standing firmly on the ground, it is hard to imagine situations where things are happening so fast one is hardly aware of where the ground even is!

This was a fun and an interesting issue to put together. I hope you find it just as intriguing. As always, we, welcome your comments and ideas at

Until next time... Heather