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Media Consumption: Freestyle Games' Jamie Jackson (B-Boy)

For this week’s Media Consumption talks to Jamie Jackson, Art Director on B-Boy, the debut title from UK based developer Freestyle Games, discussing his media diet, from Roy Ayers through Hellboy to Gears Of War.
For this week’s Media Consumption, a column that looks at the media and art diets of our favourite industry personalities, we spoke to Jamie Jackson, Art Director on B-Boy, the debut title from UK based developer Freestyle Games. The game – a breakdance-sim for PSP and PS2 which features Crazy Legs from the legendary Rock Steady Crew – launched in Europe in September, with a US release currently slated for January. “There should be some really exciting news about that very soon,” says Jackson. The studio is currently finishing up a second PS2 title, which “will be out next year”, and has two next-gen titles in pre-production. “We are really interested in the new ways we can get the consumer to interact with our games, not just from the controllers like the Wiimote or PS3 Sixaxis, but also the online capabilities,” says Jackson. “The next three to five years are going to be very interesting and we are working very hard on some very cool stuff that will take full advantage of the new consoles strengths.” Gamasutra contacted Jackson to find out about the tasty morsels making up his media diet right now. Sounds: "At the moment I'm listening to all sorts. My normal staple is Motown and funk. James Brown, Nina Simone, Marva Whitney, Roy Ayers, Cymande. James Brown’s Funky People collections are pretty sweet. But I'm enjoying The Roots' new album; these guys always seem to deliver something new and fresh, all boxed up within the hip-hop genre! I'm also loving the latest Next Men mixes and I bought an old compilation album by The Who the other day - you just can't ignore The Who!" Moving Pictures: "I love films that have strong artistic presentation. I think the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are great, funny, well made, and have fantastic sets! It took me back to being a kid again! I remember watching The Goonies over and over, just loving the story and the way the sets brought it all to life. Pirates… reminds me of those days. I also really love True Romance, just an awesome gun-fighting love story! Shawshank Redemption for making you care, Se7en because of the story, they way it was shot and the bad ending! The last film I saw was Casino Royale - all I can say is it kicks ass. Well done to Daniel Craig for being the best Bond since Connery." Oh, and Hellboy rocks! Words: "I kinda like stuff I can get through quickly. I read a lot of comic books and graphic novels - I'm reading a load of Hellboy short stories, which are nice for just dipping into now and again. I've just read [Mark Millar’s] Wanted series. It’s a nice take on the hero/villain thing. Apparently, it is being made into a movie - I'd like to make the game to that! I'm a G-Force kid too, so I have collected every comic and special edition from the Top Cow Battle of the Planets stuff. I also enjoy books with real subject matter, whether it's Howard Marks or something about the UK underworld, it is all good. I am also reading some old-school sci-fi stuff, more as a research trip than anything else. It's just something different to be honest, and as for research, well, game ideas have to come from somewhere. I'm looking into an idea at the moment that needs some research and old sci-fi might be a good place to start. As with everything you have to have a beginning; I'm not sure that sci-fi is the right one yet, but I need to look before I can make a call." Games: "I would consider myself a casual gamer, mostly because I don't have as much time to play games as I'd like, so I make sure that I play ones I really love. I have two constants: Pro Evo Soccer and Tiger Woods Golf. I can dip into these whenever I like and just have some fun. But I also like games with a strong narrative. God of War was great! I got through it quickly and felt that I had got value for money, something you don't always get these days. I also enjoyed playing the Tenchu series. I just really liked the stealth controls they implemented. Tony Hawk is another I can play, although I am only getting back into it with Project 8 and the “nail the trick” play mechanic - which rules! But, the game I playing right now is Gears of War; for me this is the perfect casual gamer game, it is awesome to look at, very easy to get your head around, and has enough of a story to keep me interested. I even managed to get my wife to play it the other day and she hasn't picked a game up since the Atari console - trust me, it was one hell of an achievement!"

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