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A little update on “Shenmue Exploitation”: The Video Gaiden issue

January 25, 2011

A few hours ago, I mentioned two particular situations in this article of what I called “Shenmue Exploitation”, one of the them is Computer and Video Games obviously trying to evoke memories of Shenmue, but mostly as, dare I say it, a transparent publicity stunt. But this wasn’t the first time that an entitity decided to use the Shenmue name as a way to get people to watch their show.

I mentioned a british show and after digging around the ShenmueDojo message boards, I’ve come across a name: VideoGaiden, a BBC Scotland Internet gaming-related sketch web series.

For those of you who didn’t actually experience this, let me fill you in, from November 5th, 2006 to December 10th of the same year, this show started a viral campaign in which this show would and I quote (I swear, I did not edit any of this):

The deal is – if we get a big groundswell of activity, I’ll send the episodes of the show to Sega and go “for fuck’s sake, look!” And then I’ll demand a definitive answer. And then we’ll have made Shenmue III happen.

The source of this message board points to a BBC link, that unfortunately is no longer unavailable, Archive.org’s Memory Machine can’t seem to find anything. There’s no cache copy on Google Search, so I guess I’m out of luck, fortunately there are various sources to corroborate this.

Moving on, the marching orders were simple: Make Shenmue 3 happen!

Except that, while everyone was getting rallied up, making a couple of Shenmue appeal videos, writing insightfull articles about Shenmue, making huge threads on major forums and mailing stuff to Sega, this show’s crew did this:

This was a 60 second clip in every episode where the «joke» was that this poll they were conducting would be “hijacked”(or interrupted) by another video game character. Classy, but honestly? I would rather sit through the Star Wars Holiday Special twice in a row than watch 60 seconds of this brain sodomy.

This little spectacle continued until the last episode where they just said: “Screw it, we’re done torturing people, let’s just send a quick e-mail to some Sega PR twat and get this over with!”

This little situation from 2006, my friends, was possibly one of the lowest and cheapest forms to attract attention to a show that quite honestly didn’t know if it was a serious game related show or just a random sketch comedy. But it fed into the emptiness that was the absense of Shenmue 3. That was pretty low, guys…

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