Since a few months ago, the staff at PlatinumGames has been organizing something new: after-hours clubs. Not only is this a good opportunity for employees to hang out and get to know each other better, but it also serves to give them inspiration and new ideas that they can put to use while doing their job.
For this blog post, Eiro Shirahama, Director Extraordinaire of The Legend of Korra, wrote up his impressions of the first night out of his moviegoers club, “Cinema Paradise.”
Hi everyone! Eiro Shirahama here.
In the Fall of last year, PlatinumGames started a new “club activities” initiative, and although things started off a bit slowly, they’ve really been picking up steam lately!
One of the main goals of the “club activities” initiative is to stimulate communication within the company, and since the higher-ups were kind enough to provide part of the costs involved in running these activities, we’ve already got a decent variety of clubs up and running, including a cooking club, a fishing club, a handful of games clubs (e.g. one focused on board games, and another on beat-em-ups), and several sports clubs.
Today I’d like to highlight the activities of Cinema Paradise, a club I organized for movie lovers like myself.
It works a little bit differently from most of the other clubs, though. Whereas most clubs get together every week, biweekly, or maybe once a month, Cinema Paradise operates on an “invitation-based free-participation” basis, meaning that we basically only have an activity when someone has a movie they want to see and they invite the others to come along.
Here’s a few pictures of what the process looks like.
In this case, one of our female designers wanted to go and see a certain dark fantasy movie with an attractive male lead, and 8 out of the 9 club members expressed interest in participating, so we went ahead and booked the tickets online. Everything can be done online these days. Why, in my time, we stood in line in the cold for hours to get our movie tickets, not even sure if there would be any left when it was our turn, and we darn well liked it! (Please don’t take my internet away from me!).
Anyway, most of us tend to work late, so we ended up going for the late show, which has the benefit of being cheaper too!
So about 30 minutes before the movie started, we started moseying towards the cinema, which is only about a 12-minute walk from the company. Naturally, there was lots of talking and excitement. When we were finally inside though, everyone instantly switched to “shut up, I’m trying to watch this movie” mode.
No smiles here, this is serious business!
Of course, after the movie, we all shared our thoughts while enjoying some drinks.
That’s the Umeda Sky Building in the background! (Sorry about the blurriness)
I think that movies, being the same kind of products of passionate creators as video games, have a lot to teach to us game developers. And of course, as a professional within the same entertainment industry, I feel like I want to create even better products than the movies I watch! At least, that’s what I dreamt about as I dozed off on the last train home…
It was kind of refreshing to get to talk face-to-face with people you don’t normally talk with about your hobbies or other casual topics. I hope that these club activities will inspire us and give us new ideas that we can use for our future games!
Eiro Shirahama, Cinema Paradise Chairman