We like creative things at GamesRadar. We like people that do things differently. And that's why we've got a lot of time for Rebecca Mayes. Rebecca is a creative contributor for Game People - a site which 'provides space for niche video game writers' - where she reviews games by singing about them. They're game reviews, but in song form.
Because we admire Rebecca and what she's doing at Game People, we got in touch with her. She answered some questions for us and, better still, told us to tell everyone about her latest tuneful review. This is the only place you'll be able to hear it right now, so we urge you to go listen to the review - which is for Hello Kitty: Big City Dreams on DS - and see what you think. When you're done, come back and find out a little more of what Rebecca Mayes is about.
GamesRadar: What prompted you to start writing the songs?
Rebecca Mayes: I've always written songs and I wanted to experiment with an unusual source of inspiration. The idea came to me like a vision during a night spent sleeping under the stars in a haunted wood. I dreamt I was being chased by a giant pac-man, all the while singing about how much I loved the game.
GR: How long do your songs take to make?
RM: I want the lyrics to pretty much be an instant response, so I don't let myself take too long over the writing. I spend a day or two in the studio recording the song. I'm going to shoot a little video diary of the song-making process for the next game.
GR: Do you produce the songs yourself, including the instruments and editing?
RM: Yes, I want to be a producer when I grow up. This is great play learning. I like working with unusual instruments and sounds; I used a hole-punch in a song recently and it makes my mouth water whenever I hear it.
GR: How difficult is it to fit a game review to song/lyrics?
RM: I could write more conventional reviews and put them to music but that wouldn't make for a very good song - for me there has to be enough of a hook melodically which does constrict what can be done lyrically, but that is all part of the challenge. I want to write interesting songs as much as I want to write interesting reviews.
GR: Would you consider using different musical styles for different reviews? – Heavy Metal etc.
RM: Definitely. I'm mainly limited by what instruments I have to hand. If anyone would like to lend me an electric guitar I will attempt to play rock-chick style.
GR: Where do you see these reviews taking you/where would you like them to take you?
RM: I would like them to take me around the world via rowing boat but I'm not even sure it's possible. I don't have any specific plan, just see which way the wind blows and go with it.
GR: What type of games do you enjoy? What type do you hate?
RM: I like puzzle type games and any game when I'm winning. I don't like pretentious or lots of talky talk games.
GR: What games would you like to sing about that you've not covered yet?
RM: I'd like to focus on something with a little more substance. Drake's Fortune looks like something I could get my teeth into.
GR: What do your reviews offer gamers that the normal variety don't?
RM: Listening to a song is a totally different experience to reading; it engages the right side of the brain over the left, so it's probably more akin to playing the game - which is also a creative experience - than a written review is. The songs are more subjective than most reviews. I'm not looking to be objective or balanced in my response, as some reviewers are. It's for fun not business.